For a Husker win, it was kind of boring some might say but hey, with the games we've went through the past few years, I'll take these "boring" games every Saturday if the boys in Red want to keep that up. I'm completely fine with that.
Purdue came out and threw the kitchen sink at our young QB and had some minor success in that. However, it was our defense that paved the way for the Huskers on Saturday as they did what we hoped they could do and flat out dominated a very poor offense. A week ago we saw improvement against an above average offense in Illinois on a windy day in Lincoln and this time we saw what we hoped we'd see against a bad offense.
1st Quarter Track - Scorpions - "Tease Me, Please Me"
Yes, it was a horrid offense; we covered that plenty heading in. However, instead of messing around with a bad team, the defense went right into attack mode and did a lot without having to get fancy. We got a sack to start the game off. Purdue had a total of 14 yards total offense from scrimmage and we picked them off. The offense started fast, then a drop by Turner stalled out the next drive. Kellogg had to come back and get the 2nd TD drive with a short score by Cross who ran like a man Saturday.
So yeah, the 1st quarter ended up leaving us asking: Is this defense for real or just getting good off a bad, bad offense?
Score: Husker 14, Purdue 0.
2nd Quarter Track - Bon Jovi - "Wanted Dead or Alive"
The 2nd quarter was pretty much the same for the defense. Yes, the finally gave up some first downs but weren't really tested at all or at least I didn't feel worried they were about to give up a score. The offense was out of sync for most of the quarter, or at least at the start. Then came the ejection of Stanley Jean-Baptiste which seemed to really spark the rest of the team as the defense immediately picked things up with a fumble recovery on the very next play. Then, one play later, Ameer Abdullah took it to the house from 28 yards out.
Now, for the penalty. Fine. Call it if you'd like, I guess it technically violates the rule so fine, throw the flag. But the ejection? No way. That was clearly not an intent to be malicious or cause injury. Further, to send him to the locker room like he started a brawl or did something unsportsmanlike? That is even more troubling about the rule itself. Get it right NCAA.
The rest of the half was the offense struggling to find consistency, changing QBs and the defense holding steady.
So the 2nd quarter ended with us asking: Does that hit warrant an ejection like a dang criminal or something?
Halftime Score: Nebraska 21, Purdue 0.
3rd Quarter Track - Billy Ray Cyrus - "Achy Breaky Heart"
The defense picked up where it left off while Touchdown Tommy II came out struggling a bit, maybe even pressing and then gave way to Kellogg who led the team on their lone touchdown drive of the quarter and it was a good, 10 play, time consuming one at that. Further, the defense pitched in on the scoring with a Randy Gregory safety that I was sure would end up getting called back but it stayed and the Huskers were up 30-0.
Armstrong came back into the game because, well, you know, we rotate and go with the hot hand and he was obviously that and for the first time looked to be pressing for certain. Drops didn't help him all day. Heck, if Turner catches that TD pass, maybe his day changes a ton but...
It had many, including myself who were hoping for a magical find at QB to supplant Martinez if need be; Feeling like the heart was broken, just a little bit. I'm not going to lie!
3rd Quarter Score: Huskers 30, Purdue 0.
4th Quarter Track - Smash Mouth - "Why Can't We Be Friends"
The 4th quarter was the 4th quarter of a blow out but you could tell the defense still wanted the shut out. They were battling hard looking for their first one since I believe 2009 bowl game against Arizona which, even if against Purdue, would have been a good feather in the cap.
Instead, a pooch punt gave Purdue great late field position and then the 55 yard bomb to score the only points for Purdue likely had the defense not having much friendship with whoever had the brilliant idea to pooch that kick and give the Boilermakers that excellent field position.
Final Score: Huskers 44, Purdue 7.
What Others Said!
"What was impressive on Saturday was you didn't see very many missed tackles or coverage busts." -- Sean Callahan, HuskerOnline
Couldn't agree more. It was a great performance by the 'Shirts but I just don't know how much credit goes to us or Purdue.
"I'm willing to live with a few questions on offense if the defense finds answers and gains confidence." -- Tad Stryker, HuskerMax
Yeah, I'd probably agree with that sentiment. I'd prefer a great defense to great offense but I get that isn't going to be the case this year. I'd still prefer the best of both worlds!
"So has this defense grown up, or are they just great against bad teams?" -- Derek Johnson, HuskerMax
Well, we've had bad performances against bad teams before so this was a sign of encouragement. How much encouragement is the question.
"It's difficult to imagine a much better schedule to help Nebraska's young defenders get their bearings." -- Steve Sipple, Lincoln Journal Star.
Probably true but after the 1st two years in the B1G and the schedule we were blessed with, I won't offer any apologies.
"NU needs its offensive line to shine in November and Long's absence would make that task more difficult." -- Dirk Chatelain, Omaha World-Herald
This might be the most overlooked part of the game. No one that stepped in, granted they likely hadn't repped much in the spot of Long, looked good and it certainly showed that the offense took a hit.
"The quarterback controversy of 2013 ended Saturday." -- Tom Shatel, Omaha World-Herald
Ha. For an experienced writer and follower of Husker football, he sure thinks things end quickly. What happens when Taylor struggles? If he has another UCLA game? Do you really think one poor game against Purdue will keep people from clamoring for a change if the turnover bug hits Martinez or refusal to run comes back up? C'mon man!
"The Nebraska defense has indeed made great strides in the past couple of weeks." -- Bob Hamar, Grand Island Independent
I'll wait and see still. Strides, yes. Still against no one of great worth. Yet. They'll have their shot to prove it.
Oregon on the Schedule?
Dear Lord. That is a great opportunity. To either get a great win on national television or be embarrassed on national television, against a former Husker no less. Of course, maybe he will be on our sideline by then? I kid. Kind of.