Nebraska Cornhuskers: Breaking down the Purdue offense


The Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-5) have struggled in their first season under Mike Riley. Despite their rough start to the Big Ten season, the Huskers haven’t hit rock bottom. They still have a chance to earn a spot in a Bowl game. Still, those chances are slim to none.  Therefore, a sixth loss to the Purdue Boilermakers (1-6) would all but end their chances at a postseason berth.

Coming into Saturday’s game, the Boilermakers have the 103rd scoring offense in college football. Averaging 23 points per game, the Boilermakers have scored as high as 38 points, and as little as seven points this season.

Austin Appleby was the starting quarterback to begin the season, but he has been replaced by redshirt freshman David Blough. With Blough taking over, the Boilermakers haven’t been able to score more than 21 points in a Big Ten game. However, if any team is susceptible to giving up big plays, it’s this Huskers’ defense.

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The Boilermakers’ best performance came in a 24-21 loss to the Michigan State Spartans. Despite the nice effort, they weren’t able to build on their close loss. They’ve only scored 20 points in the last two losses.

Despite the change in quarterbacks, there really isn’t a difference in productivity. Blough and Appleby each have two touchdowns. They both complete around 54 percent of their passes, and they each have more interceptions than touchdowns. Currently, Blough has four touchdown passes and five interceptions. Together the quarterbacks have nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions. There should be plenty of chances for the Huskers’ defensive backs to make plays on the ball.

The Boilermakers also have two running backs to face the Nebraska Cornhuskers stout rush defense. D.J. Knox and Markell Jones are the only ball carriers on the depth chart. While Knox leads the team with 90 rushing attempts, Jones has been the most productive back on the team. Jones averages 5.9 yards per carry on 78 rushing attempts. He also leads the team with six total touchdowns. Including Knox, nobody else has more than two. As of right now, Knox is questionable with an ankle injury, but it’s looking like he will play.

The Huskers’ secondary must be aware of wide receiver Danny Anthrop. As the teams best possession receiver, Anthrop leads the Boilermakers with 28 catches. Meanwhile, the offense relies on Yancey DeAngelo for big plays. The junior WR has great size, and the ability to get behind the defense. He averages 17.8 yards per catch.

Overall, the Boilermakers attempt over 37 passes per game. While the Huskers have made strides against the passing game, they still show a tendency to wilt in late game situations. If Purdue can keep it close, they’ll try to capitalize in the passing game. Keep in mind, the Boilermakers only gain 215 passing yards per game.