Nebraska Preview: Cornhuskers at Purdue
It will a very hungry Nebraska team heading onto the road this weekend looking for their first win in nearly a month.
The Huskers (4-4/2-3 Big Ten) have lost two straight games sandwiched around their first bye week of the season as they get ready to play at Purdue tomorrow (November 2).
There is some good for the Nebraska offense this weekend as starting quarterback Adrian Martinez is expected to play after missing the last two games with a knee injury.
The 'Voice of the Huskers', Greg Sharpe, told me #2 appears to be ready to go:
The Boilermakers (2-6/1-4 Big Ten) have had their own quarterback issues in 2019.
Purdue starter Elijah Sindelar played in the first three games before a broken collarbone ended his season. Since then the Boilermakers have gone with redshirt freshman Jack Plummer and sophomore Aidan O'Connell at quarterback. Plummer has completed 58 percent of his passes in six games with nine touchdowns and six interceptions and is expected to start for an offense that is next to last in the nation in rushing and generates more than 80 percent of their offense through the air. They have been missing one of their top weapons, wide receiver Rondale Moore, who has been injured the last four games. He is questionable Saturday.
Defensively, Purdue has been banged up as well with a number of injuries at key positions. They do have two players on the line, George Karlaftis and Derrick Barnes, who have combined for nine sacks, but the Boilermakers have given up a lot of yards on the ground, including 242 in a loss to Illinois last week.
Greg says the injuries have really been a challenge for Purdue this season:
Kickoff is 11:00 AM (CDT), Saturday in West Lafayette, Indiana.
You can listen to the game live on ESPN 99.1.
Greg says a win for the Huskers would go a long way to change the negative vibe that's surrounding this program right now:
In last week's 38-31 loss to Indiana, Cornhusker backup quarterback Noah Vedral got his second straight start for the injured Martinez and he led the Nebraska offense to 21 first-half points, calling his own number twice for touchdown runs in the first 30 minutes.
The Huskers had four first-half drives of more than 50 yards with Vedral and Luke McCafferty, who subbed for a time when Vedral got banged up in the second quarter.
Greg says the Huskers up-tempo start and new wrinkles were effective in the first half against Indiana, but there were some missed opportunities as well:
Defensively, Nebraska had trouble getting to Hoosier quarterback Peyton Ramsey, who threw for 351 yards and two scores, 178 yards of those to wide receiver Whop Philyor who had four catches of 20 plus yards.
Greg says one of the areas where Nebraksa really struggled was trying to get the Indiana offense off the field on third down:
In the aftermath of the loss, there were several stories coming out of Lincoln this week about the current culture of the Nebraska program and a perceived slight against the Indiana program from Huskers head coach Scott Frost.
Greg says a lack of results on the field helps to fuel the coverage: