Tom Shatel, Omaha World-Herald: Nebraska fans won’t be jumping around for Camp Randall, but Huskers have a chance
They’ll head to Madison and try to move Wisconsin earth with a beat-up offensive line that barely nudged Purdue on Saturday.
They’ll attempt to run the ball against the Badgers’ brick wall with a run game that didn’t reach 100 yards until late against a Boiler defense that ranked last in the Big Ten against the run.
In other words, they’ll take a water gun to a rock fight.
Good luck, gents.
The Huskers are 7-0 and 4-0 in the Big Ten, lead the Big Ten West and now head to a meaningful Halloween weekend date between two top 10 teams.
It’s the stuff that dreams are made of, but pardon Nebraska fans if they aren’t exactly planning parade routes.
Steven Sipple, Lincoln Journal Star: With key Huskers limping, big win seems like long-shot
You don't have to be Kirk Herbstreit to understand why it would be zany to take the limping Huskers over the ornery Badgers.
You need only listen to Nebraska offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf, who was asked if it was difficult Saturday for running back Terrell Newby to pick out running lanes during an underwhelming 27-14 win against Purdue at Memorial Stadium.
"There weren't any," Langsdorf said flatly.
You read that right. There were no — OK, surprisingly few — running lanes against Purdue (3-4, 1-3 Big Ten), which entered the game last in the conference and 124th nationally in rushing defense.
The Boilermaker defense somehow took on the look of the Baltimore Ravens at times, even without injured defensive tackle Jake Replogle, among the team's best players.
"It was hard," Langsdorf said. "It was hard for (Newby) to find some of the holes because we had some problems with one-on-one matchups — guys getting beat in a hurry, and then (Purdue) defenders penetrating the backfield, and then we've got a problem."
Mike Carmin, Lafayette Journal & Courier: Purdue Football shows resolve in loss to Nebraska
In a tense and surreal week around Purdue’s football program – one most of us haven’t witnessed – Gerad Parker and Markell Jones were able to share a laugh.
At a mistake. A costly one. After Saturday’s first play in front of a sellout crowd of 90,546 inside Memorial Stadium.
The interim head coach and the star running back were smiling after an interception led to a quick 7-0 lead by Nebraska. You see, Jones attempted a halfback pass – the first official play of Parker’s tenure.
It was a poor decision by Jones. It was a poor throw by Jones. It backfired.
It didn’t rattle the Boilermakers, though.
“I just wanted to make it a little bit tougher today,” Parker said of Jones’ reaction on the sideline. “We laughed about it.”
The eighth-ranked Huskers pulled away in the second half and beat the Boilermakers 27-14. The end result wasn’t a surprise – the margin maybe was – but Parker’s brief influence on the overall team didn’t allow it to fold when adversity struck.
We were promised a beatdown by Nebraska fans. Corn Nation was openly talking about playing their backups to get valuable experience. There was little reason to think Purdue was going to put up a fight on paper. For once, Purdue exceeded those "on paper" expectations.
What else is there to say? Nebraska is a pretty good team and they are ranked in the top 10 nationally as one of the few remaining undefeated teams. Purdue went into their house and dominated the first half to lead 14-10. They fought tooth and nail despite a depleted defensive line and the loss of a head coach to lose only 27-14 in a game that was closer than that final score.
Think about that, for a moment. Purdue lost by 14 last week and it was nowhere near that close. This week Purdue lst by 13 and it was far closer than that. I hope that makes sense.
Dirk Chatelain, Omaha W-H: Huskers pass another quiz, but real test awaits
There are days when everybody walks out of the stadium dissecting the state of the program. There are days when the fourth-string walk-ons play and all the moms go home happy. This should’ve been the latter.
Instead, Husker fans face another seven days wondering if 7-0 means anything, wondering what Wisconsin and Ohio State might do to this offense, wondering if The Reckoning is coming … primetime on ESPN … in the house of horrors known as Camp Randall.
“We’ll see if we’re a Top-10 team,” defensive coordinator Mark Banker said. “We’ll see what we’re made of.”
Walked in the endzone like! pic.twitter.com/MslI87UVv7— De'Mornay Pierson-El (@DontPunt_15) October 23, 2016
GBR!!!!— Keyshawn Jr. (@keyshawnnnn) October 23, 2016
#Huskers 7-0 start is first of Mike Riley’s college coaching career, and the eight straight victories mark his longest college win streak.— Brian Rosenthal (@GBRosenthal) October 23, 2016
Tommy Armstrong on the upcoming game against Wisconsin: "We're ready for anything." #Huskers— Kevin Thomas (@KevinThomasKLIN) October 22, 2016
#Huskers out-scored Purdue 10-0 in the 4Q today & now has a 98-13 advantage in the 4Q this season. The +85 pt differential leads the nation.— Nate Clouse (@NateClouse) October 22, 2016
Nebraska has won 10 of 11 since last year's loss to Purdue. Not enough talk about this turnaround by Riley and Co.— Paul Myerberg (@PaulMyerberg) October 22, 2016