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Corn Nation’s Got Questions: Purdue Part “A”

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A is for answer. Each week we ask some questions about the upcoming game. A few days later we check back to see if we got answers. Today, we look back at the Purdue Boilermakers. We did not want to, but we did.

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We lost. To Purdue.

Not only that, but Nebraska is now in the pooper scooper position in the crappiest division in all of Power 5 football.

Husker football fans find themselves in uncharted waters right now. On the one hand, we are seeing historically awful results on the field in terms of wins/losses.

On the other, we are also watching likeable coaches honestly try to answer questions that are being posed - even if they don't know or we don't like the answers. We are also watching a team that has no quit in them whatsoever. During that game last Saturday, I watched players limp to the line of scrimmage, lay out for a long catch, make a crucial block for a teammate, and continue to hustle after a play even if they were a long shot to catch up. These players fought to the very end for nothing more than pride and that says a lot about the people on this team.

On to the answers.

How quickly will Ryker Fyfe to settle in and show us why he clawed his way up the depth chart?

You know that standard operating procedure with a backup QB? The one that says "RUN THE DAMN BALL!" and give your inexperienced QB some short, confidence-building throws sparsely scattered in there to get him into the game?

Nope. No need to do that. Especially against one of the WORST rush defenses in FBS. Grrrr.

There are many articles in Nebraska media this week about whether the lack of the run game is because we "can't" or because we "won't" run the ball.

My take (and it's worth every penny you are paying to read this): Regardless of what you think of the o-line and current running backs, this staff seems very easily spooked away from the run game by negative plays. Too easily. They would rather see a net zero play (incomplete pass) than risk losing yardage on a run. (We won't talk about the crazy, slow-developing misdirection plays they are content calling behind the same o-line).

Ryker got fed to the wolves, plain and simple - long before Nebraska was far enough behind to justify slinging it on every play. The more we threw, the further behind we got until that 4th quarter rally that had as much to do with Purdue's defense running out of gas (and playing soft with a huge lead) as it did with Nebraska's offense.

Give the kid some credit - he came back after throwing multiple interception and went back to work. He showed some poise and leadership when things went south.

How much will we complain about the playcalling this week?

A lot I guess. See above.

29 rush attempts for a net 77 yards is not going to cut it - especially when playing a terrible rush defense. (27 for 92 if you take away sacks - college football stats are stupid in charging sack yardage to the run game instead of the pass game).

Terrell Newby was averaging 5.6 per carry (10 touches) before he left with an injury and Imani Cross averaged 4.9 yards in each of his 8 touches. Between them, there were 3 negative plays, and those only lost 3 yards total. I honestly have no idea why we threw the ball 48 times with a backup QB.

None.

Is this the week we are treated to a DPE punt return TD?

No, this is the week, De'Mornay Pierson-El goes to injured reserve. After a shredded knee and fractured leg, his season is over - almost as soon as it began. Get well soon DPE!

Predictions!

Freshman Aaron Williams made his first start. How many tackles will A.W. log?

(Over/under) 3.5 - OVER Aaron recorded seven tackles (5 solo; 2 assisted)

Passing yards for Fyfe?

(Over/under) 175 -- HOLY CRAP! OVER! On 48 pass attempts he racked up 407 yards with 4 TDs and 4 interceptions.

Rushing yards for Newby?

(Over/under) 110 - GRRRRR. UNDER. He left with a thigh injury shortly after halftime but had 56 yards on 10 attempts up to that point.

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What are your thoughts? Did I miss something? Tell me in the comments!