Nebraska vs Purdue: Five Things We Learned


Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

1) Taylor Martinez will be the starting quarterback: Tommy Armstrong played like a freshman usually does in their first road game, reminding Huskers fans that it takes more than a couple of games behind center to truly find your groove. Armstrong looked like he was pressing early on in the game, making several bad reads and tossing three interceptions. He seemed to be throwing to a predetermined target and was telegraphing his passes. He did score a touchdown on a great looking option play near the goal line in the first quarter. Luckily we’ve already seen Martinez make these freshman mistakes and it’s definitely his job when he’s ready to return. It was a short lived quarterback controversy in Lincoln.

2) Nebraska’s young defensive line is growing up: Lead by Randy Gregory, the Blackshirt defense was able sack Purdue’s Danny Etling five times and hold the Boilermakers to just 32 yards rushing. Did Nebraska do something different scheme wise they haven’t been doing this season, probably not, but the D-lineman sure did pin their ears back and go after the backfield way more aggressively. They looked a lot more comfortable out there.

3) Ameer Abdullah no longer just a top Big Ten running back: It’s OK to now start talking about Abdullah as one of the nations best running backs. With 816 rushing yards through six games, Abdullah is ranked 6th in the nation overall. In the last three games he’s run for 139, 225, and 126 yards with four TD’s. That’s top quality.

4) Offensive Coordinator Tim Beck might have figured out an identity for this year’s offense: In the last three games, Beck has called 157 run and 77 passing plays. Beck’s dedication to the run has helped dictate both the flow of the games, and has helped tremendously with game clock management. NU is ranked 8th in rushing offense in the nation. He’s strategically used three powerful running backs to the teams advantage, spreading out carries for Ameer Abdullah, Imani Cross, and Terrell Newby. Beck has finally figured out what makes this offense work, running the ball first, then passing.

5) Nebraska fans still travel as good as any team in college football: OK, maybe we didn’t learn anything new here. From reading various tweets during the game from people at Ross-Ade Stadium, there may have been upwards of 20,000 Big Red fans at the game. Even with the large number of Husker fans, the stadium had wide swaths of empty seats. Ticket prices were as low as $1.30 on Stubhub. So yeah to Husker fans, and what the heck to Purdue fans? You’re a Big Ten school, show some support.