Nebraska Preview: #8 Cornhuskers Host Purdue
Aretha Franklin sang about getting some.
Rodney Dangerfield said he never got any.
And now the Nebraska Cornhuskers are wondering what they have to do to get a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T from the college football world, after their best start in 15 years.
Wins over mediocre Big Ten teams like Northwestern, Illinois, and Indiana aren't helping the Huskers build a stronger case. Overall, Nebraska's 2016 opponents are a combined 15-22 so far, with only Wyoming (4-2) sporting a winning record.
So while the strength of the Cornhukers' schedule hasn't exactly been daunting, they are winning the types of games they had trouble closing out in 2015.
Case in point, this week's opponent - Purdue.
The Boilermakers (3-3/1-2) are a mess right now after firing head coach Darrell Hazell last weekend, replacing him on an interim basis with receivers coach Gerad Parker.
But this same Purdue team that won just two games all of last year, put up 55 against the Blackshirt defense in a ten-point win.
Nebraska remembers that game all too well and the four touchdown passes thrown against them by Boilermaker quarterback David Blough.
Blough continues to be the bright spot on the Purdue offense. He's the top passer in the Big Ten after throwing for 468 yards and five touchdowns against Iowa last week. The Boilermaker running game is dead last in the league, in large part because of the amount of time they've had to play from behind this season.
The biggest struggle for Purdue has been on defense.
The Boilermakers are last in the Big Ten in total yards allowed, last in rushing yards allowed, and the worst team in the nation on third down - allowing teams to convert 52 percent of the time.
Those numbers should bode well for a Nebraska offense that rushes for better than 220 yards a game, and is in the top 15 in the nation on third down, converting 49 percent of the time.
One of the big keys to the game for the Huskers will be hanging on to the football after turning it over five times in West Lafayette last year.
Nebraska comes in as a 24-point favorite.
Kickoff is 2:30 PM, Saturday, at Memorial Stadium. You can follow the Huskers live, all season long on ESPN 99.1.
At Indiana last weekend, Nebraska ran out to an early lead and then held off the Hoosiers for a 27-22 win in Bloomington.
Quarterback Tommy Armstrong didn't have his best game of the year, completing just 10-of-26 passes and throwing a pair of interceptions. But with the game on the line in the fourth quarter, Armstrong did use his feet to buy some time and then threw a strike to Stanley Morgan, between three defenders, for a 75-yard touchdown that helped seal the victory.
The Husker attack was helped by 102 yards and a touchdown on the ground from running back Terrell Newby.
Defensively, the Nebraska secondary picked off two passes, including a 33-yard pick-six from Chris Jones in the first half. Josh Banderas (11) and Kieron Williams (10) each recorded double digits in tackles.
I talked with the 'Voice of the Huskers', Greg Sharpe, about the Indiana win and week's match-up with Purdue: