Nebraska Football: Defense continues to struggle in frustrating afternoon

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - NOVEMBER 02: Jack Plummer #13 of the Purdue Boilermakers runs the ball as Collin Miller #31 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers reaches for the tackle at Ross-Ade Stadium on November 2, 2019 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - NOVEMBER 02: Jack Plummer #13 of the Purdue Boilermakers runs the ball as Collin Miller #31 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers reaches for the tackle at Ross-Ade Stadium on November 2, 2019 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Nebraska Football and the defense could not get the job done on Saturday.

Nebraska Football had a tough game on Saturday against Purdue. In another frustrating occurrence, Nebraska came close to winning but fell short. There were many things to take away from this game, and one of the problems that Nebraska faced was its inability to get stops defensively.

At the beginning of the game, things looked promising. Darrion Daniels got a rather unconventional interception and returned it 18 yards, almost scoring a touchdown. Lamar Jackson recorded an interception as well. Playing the ball well, he did a nice job of reading his man and defending. Other than that, there was not a whole lot to write home about.

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Nebraska gave up 304 yards through the air. That included making backup quarterback Aidan O’Connell look like the second coming of Tom Brady. On the ground, the Cornhuskers did not fare much better. They gave up 145 rushing yards, averaging four yards per rush. It was more than just what was in the box score however. Again, the defense did not come ready to play. They struggled again and failed to make the big stop when it was truly needed.

Perhaps the definitive example of how the afternoon went was on the final scoring drive for Purdue when, with a backup quarterback in O’Connell, Nebraska let the Boilermakers engineer a drive down the field. the drive concluded with a nine-yard touchdown run by running back David Bell. He literally walked into the end zone, with little resistance from the Nebraska defense.

I am not sure what needs to be done defensively. They are not firing on all cylinders right now, and that needs to change. I would equally put the blame on the players failing to get the job done, and defensive coordinator Erik Chinander failing to make adjustments.  It’s the same old song and dance as it has been for the past couple of weeks. Now, was the offense great? No, they missed their opportunities as well. However, the offense at least put the team in a position to win. The defense promptly squandered opportunities, and that was extremely frustrating to see.

The offense had many quick drives in the first half, and the defense was on the field for quite a bit. That undoubtedly played into fatigue, and put the defense in a tough spot. However, at the end of the day they still had to get the job done. Although there were squandered opportunities by the offense, the defense had to pick up the slack as Martinez and company struggled for the majority of the game. They failed to do that. Purdue read them like a book, and it showed.

There needs to be an evaluation of the defensive side of football, especially as the team gets set to take on Wisconsin next week. In what is a game in which Nebraska Football is already extremely overmatched, the least they can do is make sure the defense is somewhat prepared. They need to perform better over these final games, because right now they are just not cutting it.