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Best Position Group of the Nebraska - Purdue Game: Defensive Backs

The Husker Defensive Backs come up huge in tackling and turnovers in route to a 31-14 Husker W!

#2 Isaac Gifford takes down #8 TJ Sheffield
Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Another week, another Husker win!! The Huskers once again find a way to get the win at home on a chilly Saturday afternoon in Lincoln.

Except for the horrendous ball handling late in the 4th, Nebraska put together quite a solid balanced game on both sides of the ball.

The offense found their rhythm on the ground again with Emmett Johnson, who charted another 70+ yard day in his 2nd start. In the passing game, Haarberg found another young freshman receiver deep downfield with speedy Jaylen Lloyd. To compliment that the defense only gave up a single touchdown after having to deal with multiple short fields from the offense’s miscues.

However, that is all to say Nebraska put the ball on the turf Saturday a total of 5 times! The fact that we not only won, but by 17, is all in credit to our defense.

Like the defensive line last week, Nebraska’s DB’s showed out on Saturday. Of the top 5 tacklers, 4 of them came from Evan Coopers DB room. One name to mention in particular, Isaac Gifford. Dude was a stud. Responsible for 10 tackles, 2 behind the line, Gifford was ballin. He not only made plays behind the line of scrimmage, but also was vital in some deep pass breakups early.

Besides the relentless, disciplined, and violent tackling of Phalen Sanford, Omar Brown, and Quinton Newsome, who had 6, 5, and 5 respectively, it was the turnovers by this group that won Nebraska the game.

Tommi Hill, who didn’t record a single tackle all day, made up for it in the interception column recording two. Both interceptions came in critical situations. The first quickly set up the 73 yard touchdown pass to freshman Jaylen Lloyd in the 2nd quarter. The second pick, on the final Purdue drive, sealed Nebraska’s 5th win of the season (3 straight).

NCAA Football: Purdue at Nebraska
Tommi Hill #31 comes up with the game-sealing Interception.
Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Quinton Newsome, another dawg and the Huskers most trusted back, recovered an early fumble in the 1st, out of the loose hands of Devin Mockobee. Then just as it seemed Purdue was about to get on the board early in the second half, Newsome makes the heads-up play on special teams, taking the blocked field goal 68 yards to the house.

Although Nebraska’s offense was able to put some real points on the board this week, it opened the door for Purdue to sneak back in this game with it’s sloppy ball control. Thankfully, the defensive was able to make up for these losses thanks to the ball hawking abilities of Hill and Newsome, and the sure tackling of Gifford, Sanford, and Brown.

Thanks for reading my second ever Corn Nation article. If you’d like, let me know your thoughts on which position group won Nebraska this game.

Also check out my Podcast, “Corn Boys Podcast” which I co-host with some buddies here at the University of Oregon where we talk all things Huskers.