Lincoln, NE – Three weeks ago, the Purdue Boilermakers looked anything like an offensive juggernaut against Eastern Michigan. What a difference three weeks makes. David Blough continued his mistake free, blazing play and D.J. Knox added two scores as the Boilermaker offense gave Purdue their first win over Nebraska in Lincoln in program history.
Purdue started out the game a bit vanilla, as the Cornhuskers ran the ball right down Purdue’s throat. Nebraska went on a 10 play, 75 yard touchdown drive and it seemed like it would be a shootout in Lincoln. Purdue would answer quickly with a six play, 71 yard drive to even the game up at seven. After the first drive, Purdue would shut out Nebraska the rest of the half, and Purdue would go on to score 20 unanswered points in the first half. Blough would cap off a 10 play drive with a one yard td run, and Spencer Evans would add two field goals. The Boilers would see themselves ahead 20-7 going into half time.
Coming out of the intermission, Purdue’s defense would not be as sharp; however Purdue’s offense would answer every time the bell rang. Purdue and Nebraska would trade punts to open the second half, but after that it was an offensive barrage. The next six possessions, three for each team, would end in touchdowns. Purdue would start the offensive display off as Blough found Brycen Hopkins for a 12 yard touchdown. After trading touchdowns back and forth, Nebraska had the ball on their own nine yard line with just under 11 minutes to go in the game. Adrian Martinez would lead his team to their own 47 yard line. On the next play Simeon Smiley would catch an overthrown ball with 8:50 left in the game. Nebraska would not get close to the end zone as Purdue would stop drives on consecutive fourth down plays.
Blough continued his impressive play as of late. He went 25 of 42 (59.5), 328 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions. D.J Knox had 87 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns. Hopkins lead Purdue in the receiving department with five catches 103 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively Purdue left a lot to be desired. The Boilers gave up nearly 600 yards of total offense, including 259 on the ground. Luckily Purdue was able to force a turnover when they needed it, something that was lacking at the beginning of the season.
Purdue continues to show that when it plays to its potential it can play with any team in the nation. The Boilers show a confidence they didn’t have at the beginning of the season. The Boilers are off for a week, then head back out on the road to Illinois. But looming in the near future is a major showdown with top 10 ranked Ohio State at home. However for the Boilers they need to focus on one week at a time, otherwise another shocker could happen. A shocker the Boilers don’t want.