Purdue rested and ready for Nebraska challenge

A rested Purdue team will attempt to take down a banged-up Nebraska squad when the Big Ten programs meet Saturday in Lincoln, Neb.

The Boilermakers (2-5, 1-3) are coming off a bye after losing four of five, most recently by 34 points to No. 3 Ohio State on Oct. 14. The time off allowed Purdue to get healthy and refreshed for the stretch run.

“The buy-in is exactly what you want it to be,” first-year coach Ryan Walters said. “The guys that were dinged up are starting to look like themselves.”

The same can’t be said for Nebraska. The Cornhuskers (4-3, 2-2) beat Northwestern 17-9 at home last weekend for their second straight win, but it came at a cost with injuries to several key players — including three on the offensive line.

Guard Ethan Piper and tackle Turner Corcoran are out for the year, while guard Nouredin Nouili will miss multiple weeks. Same goes for top receiver Billy Kemp IV.

“We’re a pretty beat up team right now,” first-year coach Matt Rhule said. “We’ll have to have some guys step up.”

Nebraska’s defense has remained healthy, and it has showed on the field. The Huskers have allowed only 16 points in the past two games, and three of four Big Ten opponents have been held to 13 points or less.

Too bad their offense hasn’t capitalized, averaging only 18.7 points per game.

Purdue has scored only 21 total points in its last two games, with Texas transfer Hudson Card throwing for a season-low 126 yards last time out against the Buckeyes.

A win for Nebraska on Saturday would move it a game away from bowl eligibility for the first time since 2016. Purdue has to win four of its remaining five to avoid missing out on a bowl in a non-COVID season for the first time since 2019.

The Boilermakers lead 6-5 in the series, taking four of the last five meetings.

–Field Level Media