Week 7 - Nebraska at Purdue

Posted Oct 10, 2013

Week 7 Fearless Predictions & Preview - Nebraska at Purdue

- Northwestern at Wisconsin
- Indiana at Michigan State
Michigan at Penn State

Nebraska (4-1) at Purdue (1-4) Oct. 5, 12:00, BTN

Why You Should Give A Hoot: It's just the second time the two schools have ever met and it's the first time the two have gotten together in the Big Ten – Purdue won the 1958 showdown 28-0. For all the problems and all the bluster and all the controversy and all the defensive mistakes and all the snipping, Nebraska has only had one really bad half of football. Okay, so maybe the end of the Wyoming game wasn't strong, and there hasn't been much of a consistent effort across the board, but the second half against UCLA has been the one true disaster. At the end of the day, Nebraska is still 4-1 with a relatively easy slate going to West Lafayette this week and hitting Minnesota next. Purdue is still looking for its first win over an FBS team under new head coach Darrell Hazell, spending the last two weeks licking its wounds after getting thumped by Northern Illinois by 31. With a road trip to Michigan State up next and Ohio State to follow, this could be an utterly disastrous 1-7 start if it can't take care of the Huskers at home.

Why Nebraska Might Win: Purdue's offense hasn't found anything that works on a consistent basis. The running game is the worst in the Big Ten, the passing attack is the least efficient, and finding points and long drives is like pulling teeth. Making matters worse, even when the offense gets into range, it's not coming away with scores – the Boilermakers are a disaster in the red zone. Paul Griggs hasn't been miserable, hitting 5-of-8 field goals, but the offense isn't able to come up with enough touchdowns to keep up the pace. Nebraska's defense might not be anything special, but it's aggressive and it gets to the quarterback. Make Purdue's offense hurry, and bad things happen. However …

Why Purdue Might Win: If the Purdue offense was ever going to work, this has to be the week. There's no downfield passing game, and there aren't going to be any home runs, but the quarterbacks keep things close with short-to-midrange throws. The Boilermakers don't have to bomb away, but they just have to keep the offense moving and control the chains. Nebraska gives up lots and lots of first downs, and while it's good on third downs, the secondary can be picked apart. With two weeks off to prepare, Purdue has to come up with its best effort yet on the line to control the clock and keep the Husker O off the field.

Who To Watch Out For: Taylor Martinez is still trying to fight through a toe injury, but the offense has been more than fine without him. Tommy Armstrong hit Illinois for 135 passing yards and two scores, and Ameer Abdullah ran for 225 yards and two touchdowns with wide open spaces to run through. The Purdue defensive front allows way, way too many plays to get to the second level, and Nebraska should be able to do that without a problem.

What Will Happen: Wisconsin was able to run wild on the Boilermakers, Northern Illinois was able to do whatever it wanted, and Nebraska should be able to rumble at will. Expect another 200-yard day out of Abdullah.

Prediction: Nebraska 45 … Purdue 20
Line: Nebraska -14.5 o/u: 60
Must See Rating: (5 Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight – 1 I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding) … 2
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