Trey Palmer put on a record-setting show Saturday night at Purdue. And each week Nebraska’s star receiver is showing why he deserves mention alongside the nation’s best.

Palmer’s 237 receiving yards broke the Cornhuskers’ single-game record of 209 set by JD Spielman in 2018. Palmer has become Casey Thompson’s go-to target and continues to come up with more big plays by the week. He found the end zone twice against the Boilermakers, the final time on a deep 72-yard go route.

His versatility was on display as he added a 60-yard run on a reverse that set up a field goal in the 3rd quarter. He’s turning into “that guy” in the Nebraska offense and has folks wondering how high he may climb up Nebraska’s charts.

It’s Palmer’s stoic focus and humble attitude that coaches and fans love.

“I didn’t really know (about the record),” Palmer told reporters after the game. “Literally, I went in there and made the plays when my number was called.”

Chemistry with Thompson

It’s taken Palmer and Thompson a few weeks to find the necessary chemistry and rhythm. But over the past 3 games, the duo has really taken off. Palmer has hauled in 19 passes for 458 yards and 4 TDs. He’s getting open at all 3 levels and becoming a thorn in the sides of opposing defenses.

The LSU transfer looks poised to break the Nebraska record for receiving yards in a season. The record is 1,004 yards, set by Stanley Morgan Jr. in 2108. Palmer has 781 yards with 5 games to play. Who knows how far he’ll climb.

He’s arguably one of the best playmakers to put on the Scarlet and Cream. Purdue knew Thompson was looking his way, yet had no answer. It was similar to how Nebraska had no answers defensively for the Boilers’ combo of Aidan O’Connell and Charlie Jones. Both pairs were doing work.

Waiting for a final chance that never came

Who knew the Big Ten had become the Big 12? A wild night of offensive fireworks in West Lafayette had folks entertained. Both defenses seemed a step slow and searching for answers.

Nebraska pulled within 43-37 on Anthony Grant’s 1-yard TD run with 5:55 left. The Huskers would not see the football again. Purdue maintained possession for the game’s final 12 plays, converting a 4th-and-1 and a 3rd-and-11 to seal the win. Palmer could only stand on the sideline and watch.

Nebraska’s margin for error is razor-thin. Little mistakes are costly. The offensive line still can’t provide adequate protection for Thompson. Even Palmer had a key drop over the middle in the 3rd quarter that would have kept a drive alive.

The defense was gouged by a Purdue offense clicking on all cylinders. O’Connell’s precision was a thing of beauty. Jones, who was mostly limited to returning kicks at Iowa, is showing out in Jeff Brohm’s system. Purdue’s offense ran an eye-popping 101 plays for 608 yards Saturday. The Huskers’ defense was running on fumes.

Bye week, then final stretch

Nebraska enters a bye week sitting 3-4. The goal of 6 wins and a bowl berth is still on the table. The Huskers play host to Illinois and Minnesota in back-to-back games. The Thompson-Palmer connection will need to continue to be in high gear.

It’s been said time and again, but reaching a bowl would be a big step for this Nebraska program. Mickey Joseph is slowly turning things around. You can see it by the week. Kids are playing hard. Playing with passion and purpose. Yes, Nebraska lost, but it went down fighting.

Purdue is a good team. A play or 2 from being unbeaten and highly ranked. O’Connell is one of the league’s best QBs. The same can be said about Jones at receiver. The Boilermakers, along with Illinois, looks like a co-favorite to win the B1G West. Everyone had that in their preseason picks, right?

Nebraska still looks like a team that can make a strong final push. Getting healthy and shoring things up on defense is a must. The offensive line is still a glaring weakness.

But above it all, the Huskers have found a playmaker at receiver in Palmer. He put on a jaw-dropping show Saturday. As long as Thompson keeps feeding the 6-1, 190-pound junior the ball, more of those receiving records are sure to fall.