Purdue Football 2020: Week 7 Matchup Preview – Nebraska

Kick Off

12:00 PM ET

Location

Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Indiana (Cap. 57,236)

Weather

Forecast: 40°F, 0% chance of rain, Winds 3mph N

2020 Record

Purdue (2-3) 

Nebraska (1-4)

S&P+ Rankings

Purdue – 48

Nebraska – 42

All-Time Series Wins

Purdue – 4

Nebraska – 4

Ties – 0

Last Win In Series

November 2nd, 2019 at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Indiana (31-27)

October 28th, 2017 at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Indiana (25-24)

Projected Starting Lineups

Purdue

QB: Jack Plummer

RB: Zander Horvath

LT: Grant Hermanns

LG: Spencer Holstege

C: Sam Garvin

RG: DJ Washington

RT: Will Bramel

WR: David Bell

WR: Rondale Moore

WR: Milton Wright

NT: Lorenzo Neal

DE: Branson Deen

DE: Anthony Watts

OLB: DaMarcus Mitchell

ILB: Derrick Barnes

ILB: Jaylan Alexander

OLB: Jalen Graham

CB: Cory Trice

FS: Cam Allen

SS: Brennan Thieneman

CB: Dedrick Mackey

K: JD Dellinger

P: Brooks Cormier

LS: Nick Zecchino

KR: Marcellus Moore

PR: Zander Horvath

Nebraska

2020 Stat Comparison

PurdueNebraska
Offensive Points per game27.220.6
Offensive Rushing Yards Per Game98.2187.6
Offensive Passing Yards Per Game304180.4
Total Offensive Yards Per Game402.2368.0
Defensive Points per game28.432.6
Defensive Rushing Yards Per Game151.6204.4
Defensive Passing Yards Per Game254.4219.8
Total Defensive Yards Per Game406424.2

What to Watch For

Well, long dead are the days of Purdue competing for the West Division Title this season, but there are still goals on the horizon, the biggest of which is finishing above .500 in the “regular season”. The first step in achieving that goal comes the football equivalent of the IU Basketball, Nebraska Football. This is a Nebraska squad that is certainly chomping at the bit since they are 1-4 and have a couple 1-score losses.

Scott Frost and Co. have been looking for the QB solution this year and have been switching back and forth between “former Heisman candidate” Adrian Martinez and Luke McCaffrey, brother of Carolina Panthers Runningback Christian McCaffrey. They combine for a total of 2 throwing TDs with 6 interceptions on the year. Woof. The Purdue defense will need to make sure they do not allow either of them to beat them in the air, that would frankly be unacceptable. On the ground the leading rushers are… Luke McCaffrey and Adrian Martinez, which is a kind of impressively bad stat. The leading rusher for Nebraska is former Purdue target Wan’Dale Robinson, who will not only line up in the backfield but in the slot. He is also the leading receiver for the Cornhuskers. Purdue will need to make sure they keep a key on Wan’Dale wherever he is on the field. Purdue will be without their leading tackler, Derrick Barnes, for the first half because of that atrocious targeting call last week against Rutgers. Karlaftis is out again because of CoVID. Purdue will need to rely on Jaylan Alexander, Damarcus Mitchell and Lorenzo Neal to make plays up front today. The biggest thing I want to see out of the Purdue defense is to not absolutely crumble on the first drive of the game. That really needs to stop, because if I am an opposing coach I am taking the ball if I win the coin toss and punching Purdue in the mouth on the opening drive again. Nebraska is one of the worst offensive teams in the country, Diaco will need to show he has made the proper adjustments otherwise that seat might be engulfed in flames by the end of the day.

As unimpressive as Nebraska’s offense has been their defense is somehow equally as unimpressive, allowing over 32 points per game. Purdue will essentially have the same offensive group out on the field as they did against Rutgers. I am very much okay riding the hot hand wherever that may be for Purdue, but a hot hand needs to emerge whether it is Moore, Bell, Horvath or whoever, Purdue should ride the hot hand no matter what. I do want to see when Purdue throws the ball to be much more aggressive. It feels like the days of Anthony Mahoungou catching fade route after fade route against Iowa and Arizona. I want to see deep shots today, stretch defenses in every direction possible, to open up other plays. It feels like Purdue really hasn’t done that all season, and with there being only 3 games left this year (I am very doubtful bowl games outside of the major ones are played this year), why not open the play book? Try to put up the most gaudy offensive numbers ever from here on out, because why not? Send Rondale Moore out in a blaze of glory. Which takes me to senior day.

Purdue will be celebrating senior day for 8 scholarship seniors, 2 walk-ons, 2 grad transfers, and 1 junior. A very small graduating class indeed, but it has been a pleasure watching these young warriors give it their all either the last four years or the last year. This has been a hard year for everyone, and especially for the athletes. The constant pressure to perform AND be extremely careful with the pandemic is a taxing toll not many can understand. So to the seniors, and junior, thank you and let’s go out swinging.

Radio/TV

Radio: Purdue Radio Network

TV: BTN

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