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Nebraska vs Purdue Recap: Huskers Outlast Boilermakers, Win 27-14

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The Huskers were brutal on Offense at times, but they step up in the final 30 to move to 7-0.

NCAA Football: Purdue at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

First Quarter:

Purdue got the ball to start the game on a touchback. Evidently, they didn’t want it though. The first play of the game was going to be a halfback throw, but it shouldn’t have.

On the first play for the Nebraska offense, Tommy Armstrong made easy work from it. He took a zone read and went 22 yards for the first score of the game. 2 plays, and it’s 7-0 Nebraska.

Purdue did move the ball on the second drive of the game for them. Boiler QB David Blough hit Bilal Marshall on a big 44 yard play over the shoulder of Josh Kalu, putting the ball inside the Nebraska 10. Four plays later on 4th and Goal, Blough faked the zone read and hit DeAngelo Yancy on the bam route for the score. 7 plays and 75 yards on the scoring drive for the Boilers, and the game was tied at 7 with 10:20 to go in the first quarter.

Nebraska started their second drive on their own 25 yard line. Armstrong hits Brandon Reilly for the first 1st down of the game on a 11 yard stop route. Armstrong got another first down on a QB sneak after a Sam Cotton 9 yard catch. Terrell Newby got another first down when the whole OL played ‘OLE so bad, Newby cut it around the bulk to get 11 on the right side. 2 plays later, a TA to Reilly slant got the ball inside the Purdue 20 yard line for another first down. After a Newby rush and jet to De’Mornay Pierson-El, 3rd down and 8 brought a flag route attempt to Reilly, but the throw was long. Drew Brown came in for a 30 yard Field Goal attempt and split the pipes to make it 10-7 Nebraska with 4:03 to go in the quarter.

Purdue brought the kickoff out to the 22 yard line to start their 3rd possession of the day. After a intentional grounding, Purdue didn’t do much, having to punt for the first time on the day. The punt was successful, pinning Nebraska inside their own 10 yard line.

Armstrong didn’t like that spot though, and picked up a 1st down on the first play with a 15 yard stop route on the left to Alonzo Moore. That brought us to the end of the first 15 minutes.

Second Quarter:

The quarter started with TA going around on that zone read/HB lead for a 20 yard run. But, Nebraska stalled with a run, QB sack and a incomplete pass. Caleb Lightbourn came in and rugby punted one inside the Purdue 4 yard line to flip the field.

Purdue started their drive getting out of the end zone shade with a Blough to Brycen Hopkins toss to the 13 yard line. Three plays later, after a run, Blough incompletion & a 1st down pass nullified by illegal motion, 3rd and 11 brought up Blough hitting Yancy, who abused Chris Jones and going the distance on a 88 yard catch & mostly run. 4 plays and 98 yards on the drive, and it’s 14-10 Purdue with the lead.

Nebraska got the ball back on their 25 after the touchback. Armstrong ran a fake zone slant to DPE for a 24 yard gain to get the ball to midfield. But, after 2 incomplete passes, it brought up 3rd down and 10. Armstrong overthrew the ball and Nebraska had to punt again. Lightbourn hit this one 42 yards, out of bounds at the Boiler 10 yard line.

The Boilers got the ball back, but did nothing with it and went 3 and out with the punt. Pierson-El took in the 54 yard punt and the Huskers got the ball back on the 34 yard line.

Nebraska started out with a Wilbon no-gail run, and a TA to Newby flare out that brought up 3rd and 3. TA threw to Tre Bryant, who ran a 1 yard route and the Huskers punted again. Lightbourn kicked and Purdue got it back with the 4 yard return by Malik Kimbrough to the Purdue 24 yard line.

Purdue started the drive with 2 dumpdowns to Markell Jones, moving the sticks. Three plays later on 3rd and 1 where Jones got the 1st down on a middle run. Blough finally got sacked on the next play, when Kevin Maurice, Alex Davis and Ross Dzuris met to greet him. A Blough to Bilal Marshall throw brought up 4th down and 1 at the Nebraska 46 yard line. They converted and continued to march the ball down the field until a 3rd and 12 at the 40 yard line fell incomplete (1:08 left in the half). They took a delay of game but Riley declined it and the punt went into the end zone.

[Jill takes over here as Brian has to go to work. Welcome to ranchbabe’s ramblings!]

The Huskers went for a YOLO ball to Reimers in triple coverage but the PI wasn’t called. Reimers looked pretty shook up on the sideline. Tommy scrambled for a first down followed by a drop by Cotton (32 seconds left). A dumpoff to Newby got the ball to midfield where the Huskers took a timeout with 24 seconds left. An incomplete pass was followed by an Armstrong interception. Purdue took a knee and that was the half.

Purdue 14 Nebraska 10

Halftime

To sum up Nebraska fans feelings right now

--Nebraska scored a touchdown 16 seconds into the game which is the quickest since scoring on a 50-yard run by Dan Alexander at Colorado in 1999, after just 15 seconds had expired in the game. The school record for the quickest score into a game by Nebraska was a fumble return for a touchdown by Terrell Farley seven seconds into the game at Texas Tech in 1996.

* The last time Nebraska scored on its first offensive play from scrimmage was a 66-yard run by Roy Helu Jr. against Missouri in 2010 (occurred 1:04 into the game).

--Linebacker Josh Banderas had 11 tackles in the first half, tying his season high from last week against Indiana. Banderas’ career high is 14 tackles against USC in the 2014 Holiday Bowl.

--The first-quarter touchdown by Purdue was just the second score allowed in the first quarter by the Nebraska defense this season. Oregon scored a first-quarter touchdown against the Huskers.

--Purdue’s 88-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter was the third-longest touchdown pass in school history against Nebraska, and the longest since 1998.

Third Quarter

Tre Bryant’s kick return came out past midfield setting up an anemic offense with great field position on Purdue’s 40. Two straight runs gained nothing giving the Huskers third and ten followed by an overthrow of Brandon Reilly (the PI wasn’t called but it would have been a ticky tacky call if it had). Lightbourn’s punt was downed at the five. Yet another three-and-out for the offense.

Blough’s first pass went for eight followed by another pass to a wide open receiver for the first down. Lockdown U was looking pretty pedestrian at this point. Purdue inexplicably ran the ball twice to set up third and five. The pass was caught but Kalu made a great tackle short of the line to gain.

Pierson-El caught the punt and had no chance for a return and was escorted out of bounds at the Husker 32 yard line.

The Huskers came out in a heavy formation and continued to try and pound the ball up the middle for a 3 yard gain and 2 yard loss. On third and nine I figured the inevitable overthrow of Brandon Reilly was coming, but WAIT, he caught the ball! First down at the Purdue 39.

Returning to the inside runs lost a yard but then Tommy found De’Mornay Pierson-El in the middle of the field with a bullet he took the rest of the way for a forty yard TOUCHDOWN!! Good to see you #15. Drew Brown’s kick was good.

Nebraska 17 Purdue 14

Drew Brown hammered the kick for a touchback and the Boilers took over at their 25 yard line. Purdue had been running some rub routes all game but got called on the first play for offensive pass interference, costing Purdue 12 yards. This was Purdue’s third penalty of the game. They got a nice underneath pass on first down (for nine yards) followed by a Husker offside (Maurice) that gave the Boilermakers five free yards (this was the first Husker penalty of the game).

On second and eight Blough threw yet another bullet for the first down. He was 21 of 25 at that point in the game. The next play was an overthrow in which Blough took a hit by Akinmoladun and Chris Jones stayed down with an injury - bringing in Lamar Jackson. Purdue kept it on the ground for four yards, bringing up third and six at the Purdue 40 yard line. Blough (barely) overthrew his receiver, who was well-covered by Nate Gerry.

The Purdue punt went out of bounds just inside the Nebraska 20 yard line.

Nebraska’s first play was a pass that originally looked like a shoe-top catch by Alonzo Moore but was overturned after review bringing up second down and 10. A series of passes hindered by a offensive pass interference call brought the ball out to the 35. Armstrong kept the ball on a run to the left for a six yard gain. He kept the ball again and was pulled down by the facemask. The penalty on Purdue brought the ball to the Boiler 40. Danny Langsdorf again tried to run Newby up the middle only to have it blown up for a four yard loss. The Huskers returned to the air with Tommy finding Stanley Morgan for the first down on the Purdue 34.

It appears the long, back-breaking drive on the ground will have to wait until the fourth quarter again this week.

Terrell Newby got a nice run up the gut for four yards followed by a short Armstrong pass to Sam Cotton for five more. On third and one, Tommy snuck the ball for the first down. the Huskers then false started but that only gave 5 more yards to Alonzo Moore’s touchdown run (sweep) on the next play. He tiptoed the sideline most of the way. Drew Brown’s kick was good.

Nebraska 24 Purdue 14

Fourth Quarter

Ok, I am actually starting this almost a minute into the fourth quarter as I wasn’t paying attention. Sorry, I’ll refund your money later.

Drew Brown’s kickoff was downed in the end zone and the Boilers took over at their 25. Purdue’s starting left tackle was out of the game (injury). The Blackshirts were running some stunts to get more pressure on Blough and he felt it as the Husker defense forced a three-and-out.

Purdue faked the punt and the pass was incomplete. The receiver was open, but the Huskers took over on their own 31.

Terrell Newby carried the ball for 20-ish (what did I say about the fourth quarter run game?) to set up first and goal just inside the 10 yard line. A holding penalty moved the ball out to the 20. Tommy made one of his falling-backward throws and missed Stanley Morgan. A HUGE (YUUUUUGE) sack moved the ball back out of field goal range with third and goal at the 34. The pass intended for Stanley Morgan was incomplete and Coach Riley brought Drew Brown in for the long field goal.

Drew Brown’s 51 yard field goal (career long) was GOOOOOOOD! The flag was an unsportsmanlike conduct on Whitaker which was enforced on the kickoff.

Nebraska 27 Purdue 14

Purdue returned the ball to the 30 and a pass quickly got the ball out to the 39 yard line. Chris Jones went down in a great deal of pain. Blough threw the ball away on the next play. On third and one they powered it ahead for the first down.

Purdue went for the YOLO ball and it was intercepted by Kieron Williams who left his guy to jump in there and make the play. This was his second INT of the game and the 13th of the season for the Blackshirts.

Nebraska took over on their own 20(ish). Terrell Newby ran to the outside for a big gain to the 34. It was followed a one yard gain (the clock went under nine minutes in the game before the next play was snapped). Another stuff at the line of scrimmage brought up third and eight. Tommy threw a terrible ball but Stanley Morgan bailed out his QB by adjusted to the ball and making a great grab for the first down on the 36 yard line. That play gave Tommy the career record for completions at Nebraska. Congratulations #4!

The inside run (Newby) lost a yard followed by a bobbled snap that Tommy ran for another one yard loss. The Huskers faced third and 12 on the 38 yard line. Sam Cotton made a clutch 12 yard catch. Tommy took a hit that was flagged for targeting. Tommy was in obvious pain after the play. The targeting was overturned (probably the correct move). The review at least gave Tommy time to walk off the pain and catch his breath.

The first down run by Newby lost two yards as the clock moved inside of 5 minutes with the ball on the Purdue 29 yard line. The end-around to Moore gained nothing for third and 12. Tommy overthrew Brandon Reilly in the end zone to bring out Drew Brown for the 45 yard field goal that went wide.

Nebraska 27 Purdue 14

Purdue took over on the Husker 32 yard line. An incomplete pass followed by a nine yard run brought up third and one. Purdue responded with a two yard run (the clock was under 3 12 minutes). An incomplete pass was followed by a big gainer to the tight end and set up Purdue on Nebraska’s side of the field. During the next few plays (incomplete passes) Antonio Reed made a huge hit to jar the ball loose and Nate Gerry almost made a juggling interception. One fourth and 10, Purdue launched one to the end zone. Kieron Williams tipped the ball up and the Purdue receiver nearly brought the ball down for a TD. Whew.

The Huskers took over on downs at their own 37. After a false start, Terrell Newby ran nearly to the Purdue 37 and stayed in bounds. The clock went under 2 minutes. Tick Tick Tick.

Brandon Reilly gained a first down on an end-around but offsetting penalties meant that Nebraska had to redo the second and eight play (ball on the 41). Newby ran the ball for about 5 or 6 and then some after-whistle activity brought an unsportsmanlike flag on Gates, costing the Huskers 15 yards. One and a half minutes remained on the clock. The third and 18 run netted two. The Lightbourn punt was partially blocked and Purdue got it at their 21 with under a minute to play.

Blough was sacked on fourth and two (25 seconds) to seal the win for Nebraska.

It wasn’t pretty but the Huskers pulled out the 27-14 win.