Rapid Reaction: Adrian Martinez shines as Nebraska sends Purdue to four-game losing streak
Final Score: Nebraska 37, Purdue 27
Brief Recap: In a game between two teams facing skids, it was the Cornhuskers that hit the gas early on and did enough to hold on late for the win. The first half was all Nebraska as a blocked punt on the first possession of the game and 27 first-half points staked Scott Frost’s team to a 14-point lead. That lead was pushed to 21 in the third quarter before Purdue battled back with impressive touchdowns by Payne Durham and David Bell. The Boilermakers closed the gap to seven points but could not keep rolling with Nebraska’s defense stepping up late while the Husker offense iced enough time away to prevent a comeback.
Key Player: In the neverending quarterback cycle of the Huskers, it was Adrian Martinez that played like a true leader against Purdue. He went 23-for-30 passing the ball, putting up 242 yards and a touchdown through the air. He also rushed for 45 yards and two more scores in the win.
Key Moment: The closing stretch of the fourth quarter after Nebraska kicked a field goal for a 10-point lead. The Huskers defense stepped up on the ensuing drive by forcing a quick three-and-out that saw Purdue produce negative three yards. Nebraska would turn it over on downs after picking up 30 yards, but the defense once again stood tall, getting turnover on downs to close out the game late.
Key Stat: 20, the total number of penalties for both teams in the game. It was a sloppy, mistake-laden game for both teams as the Huskers and Boilermakers combined for 233 yards on penalties.
What it means for Nebraska: The Cornhuskers pick up their second win of 2020 as Martinez has anchored down the starting quarterback spot for the last couple of games for the season. Nebraska will move on to face Minnesota in Week 8 – provided the Gophers are cleared to play – before finding out who the team will face in the Week 9 crossover matchup.
What it means for Purdue: What has happened to Jeff Brohm and Purdue? That’s the thought on everyone’s mind as the 2-0 start is now just a distant memory. The Boilermakers have now dropped four straight after such a bright start to the season. Purdue must now prepare for an Indiana squad that is putting together one of the best seasons in Hoosier history before the Week 9 crossover. Considering how the team looked in Week 1 without Jeff Brohm, the finish to this season has not been a good look.