After Yet Another Late Loss, the Nebraska Cornhuskers Look for a Victory at Purdue
So far, competitive hasn't been enough for the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 2015.
Eight games into the season, the Big Red already has five losses, five close losses, by a combined 13 points. The latest setback a 30-28 defeat to Northwestern last weekend in Lincoln.
I talked with the 'Voice of the Huskers' Greg Sharpe about the late loss to the Wildcats and some of the missed opportunities Nebraska had in the first half of that game.
In the first 30 minutes, the Huskers ran more than twice as many plays as Northwestern (48-23), ran up more than 200 yards in total offense, but managed only a touchdown and field goal, while throwing an interception for a Wildcat score, to trail 17-12 at intermission.
Of the 23 plays Northwestern ran in the first half, 21 went for a combined 16 yards, while the other two covered 117. For the game, Wildcat quarterback Clayton Thorson threw for 177 yards and a touchdown and ran for 126 yards and a score.
Nebraska's offense was uncharacteristically unbalanced, throwing 49 times for 291 yards, while running for just 82 yards on 38 carries.
The visitors were clutch late, converting on a trio of third down plays in the fourth quarter to preserve the win.
In head coach Darrell Hazell's three seasons, Purdue has yet to win a home game in nine tries. Overall, the Boilermakers have lost 12 of their last 13 games.
If the Cornhuskers are going to get their fourth win of 2015, they're going to have to do it with a new quarterback. Ryker Fyfe is taking over for Tommy Armstrong Jr., after Armstrong injured his foot late in the Northwestern game. Fyfe has only completed nine passes in the past two seasons, five of those came against South Alabama in week two, his only action of 2015.
Saturday's game should give the Big Red a chance to re-establish a ground game. Purdue's defense is last in the Big Ten against the run, allowing nearly 200 yards a game.
The Boilermaker offense is in the hands of a redshirt freshman quarterback David Blough, who has thrown five interceptions in for games. Purdue is without one of its' top running backs, D.J. Knox, who will miss the game with a sprained ankle.
The Nebraska defense is less than 100% with leading tackler Byerson Cockrell missing the game because of a death in the family, while linebacker Michael Rose-Ivey is out with an injury.
Kickoff is 11:00 AM in West Lafayette, Indiana, Saturday. You can follow the Cornhuskers all season long on ESPN 99.1!
Here is my complete interview with Greg on the Northwestern loss and the match-up with Purdue: