The Purdue Boilermakers have an improved offense, but the Nebraska Cornhuskers are at home and playing with a sense of urgency ever since the loss at Michigan State. Nebraska hopes to keep pace in the Big Ten West with a victory today as the Huskers head into another bye week.
Kickoff today is set for 2 p.m.
Matchups to look for:
One name…Ameer Abdullah. He leads the nation in rushing yards (1,249), all-purpose yards (1,690) and points scored (114). Quarterback Tommy Armstrong is looking for some consistency in the pass game. His arm won’t need to carry the team, he just needs to protect the football. Armstrong had three interceptions in last year’s meeting against the Boilermakers.
Defensively for Purdue, end Ryan Russell and defensive tackle Ra’Zahn Howard, along with safeties Frankie Williams and Landon Feichter, are expected to play. Purdue needs its best personnel to slow down the Huskers’ rushing attack, led by running back Ameer Abdullah.
Earlier this week Bo Pelini compared Maliek Collins to Glenn Dorsey of LSU. Purdue has been running the ball well of late with the tandem of Akeem Hunt and Raheem Mostert, but Collins and Randy Gregory lead the Blackshirts that are giving up just 131.5 rushing yards in Big Ten games.
If Purdue has any chance of winning today, running the football is key, because they need to open up their passing game with play action.
De’Mornay Pierson-El leads the nation with 396 yards punt return yards and two touchdowns. The Boilermakers have allowed just 30 yards on punt returns this season.