6 stars. If Moore is healthy, this number is higher. If he’s out, it’s lower. There’s a lot of young talent for Brohm to use, and his schemes always have a way of spicing things up.
It’s interesting, isn’t it? The temptation is to say something patronizing like, “Don’t overlook Purdue.” Don’t overlook Purdue? Really? The Boilermakers have beaten the Huskers each of the past two seasons, including a 31-27 triumph last season in West Lafayette, Indiana. It was a disheartening loss for Nebraska for a variety of reasons, including the fact that Purdue got some key rushes during its game-winning drive — even though the Boilermakers finished 126th nationally in rushing offense.]
Purdue ranked 100th in total defense in 2019 and now has Bob Diaco running that side of the ball. It was a tough year for the program all the way around. But fourth-year head coach Jeff Brohm is eager to show that the 4-8 record was an aberration.
This isn’t necessarily a bad matchup for Nebraska in that Purdue once again won’t be a great running team. But, man, the Boilermakers are loaded at receiver. They have big question marks at QB. The defense will be better, but how much better? Look for another close game, but this time the Huskers should come out on top.
The main cast
WR Rondale Moore (above). The most electrifying player in the Big Ten first opted out of the season, then came back when a new schedule was released. If he’s back to full health after last year’s season-ending leg injury, look out
WR David Bell. A stat line of 86 catches for 1,035 yards and seven touchdowns last season for the Big Ten freshman of the year. And with Moore back, teams won’t be able to bracket him nearly as much.
DE George Karlaftis. It’s tough enough to play defensive line in the Big Ten, and Karlaftis stood out even as a true freshman. The unit struggled as a whole, but Karlaftis finished the year with 7½ sacks and 17 tackles for loss.
O24, Iowa; O31, at Illinois; N7, at Wisconsin; N14, Northwestern; N20, at Minnesota; N28, Rutgers; D5, Nebraska; D12, at Indiana.