The Huskers enter Ross-Aide Stadium Saturday as they look to get back on track after dropping their last two games. Nebraska has been without their star quarterback Adrian Martinez in these last two losses as well. It is looking like Martinez may be back on the field Saturday. He is a very talented passer with the ability to leave the pocket and gain some yards on the ground as well. Turnovers seem like an issue at first glance of his overall stats but it appears Martinez merely had an off day against an other worldly Ohio State defense. He had 3 of his 5 interceptions on the season in that game.
- Where: West Lafayette, Indiana
- When: Saturday, NOON ET
- Channel: FOX
- Spread: Nebraska (-4)
If Martinez is able to play and be at close to 100 percent he could give the young Purdue defense some issues. He has two very talented receivers to throw to in J.D. Spielman and freshman sensation Wan’Dale Robinson. Not to mention Martinez’s ability to run the ball if needed. Wan’Dale Robinson is somewhat similar to Purdue’s Rondale Moore in that he has big play ability. He is able to gain several yards after the catch but also take hand-offs and use his speed and elusiveness to pick up rushing yards. Look for Nebraska to get the ball to Robinson as much as they can. He has rushed the ball 71 times for 297 yards this season and 3 TDs. Additionally he has 33 receptions for 407 yards and 2 TDs on the season.
Purdue’s defense has seemed to steadily improve in spite of one of the worst injury seasons in the program’s history. It would be a very long article to go into detail about the Purdue injury list on both sides of the ball so let’s leave it at that. The Boilermaker defense is a full on youth movement with a few veterans sprinkled in. True freshman defensive end George Karlaftis has had a stellar season, leading the team is sacks with 6. He is also 3rd on the team in tackles with 39. Look for the Purdue defense to be aggressive several times throughout the day in order to disrupt this Nebraska offense. Karlaftis and Derrick Barnes will be two defensive players on Purdue to watch. The Boilers will use them early and often to disrupt the quarterback.
On the other side of the ball, the Boilermakers have had perhaps even worse injury luck. Their starting 5th year senior quarterback Elijah Sindelar has been out for the season since their loss to Minnesota on September 28th. Additionally, Purdue’s All-American wide receiver Rondale Moore was injured on the exact same play that Sindelar was. Moore will not play in this game as he is still recovering from a hamstring injury. With those two and many more injured, Purdue has been operating their offense with Redshirt Freshman QB Jack Plummer leading the charge. Plummer is a promising talent but is learning as he goes. He has thrown 6 interceptions in a little over 5 full games of play.
Nebraska’s pass defense has been porous and Purdue’s passing attack won’t face the same conditions it did last week. This match up feels a little closer to even with Purdue having a home field advantage. I’m looking for the home underdog to pull this one out in a shoot-out.