Look, Nebraska’s 37-27 win over Purdue wasn’t pretty. In fact, it was an ugly fest filled with a million yellow flags in the 2nd half.

But at the end of the day, a win is a win. And it was a much-needed victory for the Huskers, who snapped a 2-game losing streak to the Boilermakers. It’s clear that the Huskers won’t be playing a game where fans can kick up their feet and relax in the 4th quarter for the rest of the season, but that’s fine. You shouldn’t expect anything else in this odd 2020 season.

There’s plenty to chew on from this game. Here are 5 takes from Nebraska’s win over Purdue.

Nebraska got early momentum, and capitalized for once

That was refreshing, wasn’t it? Not often has Nebraska gained early momentum this season, but against Purdue, they did.

The Huskers’ first 3 drives started at the Purdue 1-, 17- and 43-yard lines and resulted in 17 points. That’s pretty good.

After a blocked punt that gave the Huskers the ball on the Boilermakers 1, Dedrick Mills smashed into the end zone for a score — and just like that, Nebraska had the momentum. Then the defense got a 3-and-out and a great punt return from Cam Taylor-Britt to the Purdue 17. Just 3 plays later, Adrian Martinez continued his strong play with a 13-yard scramble for a touchdown. It was a great run that resembled Martinez’s freshman form.

Unlike previous games, the Huskers capitalized on the great field position. Those first 3 drives were crucial. They gave the Huskers a much-needed lead that they never gave up.

Special teams, how about it?

It must be nice for a head coach to feel somewhat confident that he can get 3 points once he gets in field-goal range. It wasn’t that way last year, as Nebraska had one of the worst field-goal kicker situations in the country.

But on Saturday, Scott Frost had to like what he saw from his transfer kicker from LSU, Connor Culp. Culp was 3-for-3 on the day, with a long of 49.


Know what else Frost had to like? The special teams play from an overall standpoint.

After a bad special teams game against Iowa, Nebraska’s punt return unit got a boost when Levi Falck came up big with a blocked punt that was recovered by Simon Otte, a York, Neb., native. That play resulted in the Mills touchdown run on the next play. It didn’t look like Falck was touched on the play.

The pass rush finally got home

Before the game even started, Nebraska’s defense had to deal with adversity. Redshirt freshman safety Myles Farmer, a backup who leads the team with 2 interceptions, was carted off the field in pregame warmups with an air cast on his right leg.

Another area of Nebraska’s defense that has been facing adversity this season was its pass rush. It hasn’t been good. But against Purdue, the in-state guys came through with a combined 3 sacks.

Both Garrett Nelson and Ben Stille recorded 1.5 sacks. Those are born and bred Nebraska guys — Nelson from Scottsbluff and Stille from Ashland — whom fans enjoy watching and like when they play well. It makes for good stories when home-state players do well on the big stage.

Welcome back, Wan’Dale

After getting a bit more action in the Iowa loss, Wan’Dale Robinson had a full coming-out party against Purdue with 9 catches for 114 yards, his 1st 100-yard receiving game of the season. It was good to see Martinez find and trust Robinson on Saturday.

It’s a shame that Robinson didn’t have that type of success earlier in the season, but better late than never. He was a factor in all 4 quarters, too, as he went into halftime with 6 catches for 89 yards.

The offense finally had some explosive plays

Under the direction of Martinez, who had a 2nd consecutive strong outing as the starting quarterback, the Nebraska offense had its best passing day of the season.

Martinez finished 23-of-30 for 242 yards and 1 touchdown. Zero interceptions for the junior from Fresno, Calif., too.

Martinez even completed passes of 37 yards to tight end Austin Allen — which, by the way, should have been a touchdown had Allen kept his feet — and a 25-yarder to Robinson. Those were downfield passes that fans haven’t seen this season.