Huskers beat Boilermakers on the road, 37-27
In a hard-fought football game between two hungry teams, Nebraska got off to a great start on the road, then made enough plays down the stretch to earn a 37-27 win over Purdue at Ross-Ade Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Nebraska got contributions in all three phases of the game to improve to 2-4 on the season while dropping Purdue to 2-4. The Huskers jumped out to a quick 17-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the game, sparked by an opening defensive stop followed by a blocked punt.
The Brendan Cropsey punt, which was blocked by Levi Falck, was recovered by Simon Otte at the Purdue 1-yard-line, setting up a one-yard Dedrick Mills touchdown on Nebraska's first offensive play of the game to give the Big Red a 7-0 lead.
The Blackshirts came through with a quick three-and-out on Purdue's second offensive possession and after a 36-yard Zac Collins punt, Cam Taylor-Britt weaved his way with a 27-yard punt return. The Huskers also benefited from a 15-yard Purdue penalty on the return, setting the offense up with 1st-and-10 at the Boilermaker 17. Three plays later, Adrian Martinez battled his way to the end zone from 13 yards out to give Nebraska a 14-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.
The Blackshirts flexed their muscles again on Purdue's next possession, forcing another three-and-out that included a pair of tackles for loss including a six-yard-sack by senior defensive lineman Ben Stille. The stop was followed by a short 26-yard Collins punt that gave Nebraska a third consecutive start on the Boilermaker half of the field. Eight plays and 37 yards later, Connor Culp connected on a 25-yard field goal to put the Huskers up 17-0 with 5:59 left in the opening quarter.
Nebraska led 17-3 at the end of the quarter and maintained that two-score lead at 27-13 at halftime. The Husker second quarter included Martinez's 10-yard touchdown pass for Wyatt Liewer's first career touchdown. The quarter also included Culp's career-long 49-yard field goal.
The Big Red took its biggest lead of the game with its best drive of the contest, as Martinez marched the Huskers 75 yards in 11 plays over 4:55 that culminated with his second touchdown run of the day. His one-yard plunge put Nebraska up 34-13.
But Purdue refused to quit. Late in third quarter, Jack Plummer connected with Payne Durham on a 20-yard touchdown pass to close the game back to 34-20 heading to the fourth quarter. Then Purdue capitalized quickly in the fourth quarter when Plummer hit David Bell with an 89-yard touchdown pass that pulled the Boilers within 34-27 with 12:16 left.
But the Blackshirts surrendered nothing more to the Boilermakers, and Martinez engineered one more scoring drive capped by Culp's third field goal of the game, this time for 32 yards out to seal the win.
Nebraska finished the game with 362 yards of total offense, including 242 yards and a touchdown on 23-of-30 passing by Martinez, who added 45 rushing yards and two scores on 13 carries. Sophomore Wan'Dale Robinson continued to show his versatility with nine receptions for 114 yards, while adding two carries for five yards.
Dedrick Mills led the Big Red on the ground with 16 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown, while Falck added five receptions for 39 yards to his tone-setting blocked punt for the Huskers. Wide receiver Zavier Betts added five catches for 36 yards.
The Blackshirts held Purdue to 332 total yards, including minus-2 yards rushing. The Boilermakers were also flagged 11 times for 126 yards. Plummer finished the day 33-of-47 through the air for 334 yards and three touchdowns but was sacked three times for 21 yards in losses and officially finished with five carries for minus-23 yards. Bell led the Boiler receivers with 10 catches for 132 yards, while Rondale Moore added 13 catches for 78 yards.
Deontai Williams led the Nebraska defense with 12 tackles, including 10 solos, while adding a pass breakup. JoJo Domann contributed 11 tackles, including eight solos of his own. Cam Taylor-Britt and Dicaprio Bootle each contributed a pair of breakups for the Husker secondary, while Ben Stille led the defensive line with five tackles, including a solo sack and another shared sack with Garrett Nelson, who added a solo sack of his own.
Nebraska is scheduled to return to Big Ten home action next Saturday when the Huskers play host to Minnesota. Kick-off time and television information have yet to be announced.
Nebraska 37, Purdue 27
Ross-Ade Stadium (West Lafayette, Ind.)
Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020
First Quarter (NEB 17-3)
NEB - 12:30 - Dedrick Mills 1 run (Connor Culp kick), 1 play, 1 yard, :02, NEB 7-0
NEB - 10:04 - Adrian Martinez 13 run (Culp kick), 3 plays, 17 yards, 1:05, NEB 14-0
NEB - 5:59 - Culp 25 FG, 8 plays, 37 yards, 2:40, NEB 17-0
PUR - 1:02 - J.D. Dellinger 45 FG, 10 plays, 46 yards, 4:57, NEB 17-3
Second Quarter (NEB 27-13)
NEB - 12:22 - Culp 49 FG, 9 plays, 44 yards, 3:40, NEB 20-3
PUR - 10:04 - King Doerue 20 pass from Jack Plummer (Dellinger kick), 8 plays, 65 yards, 3:51, NEB 20-10
NEB - 6:13 - Wyatt Liewer 10 pass from Martinez (Culp kick), 8 plays, 65 yards, 3:51, NEB 27-10
PUR - 0:00 - Dellinger 27 FG, 4 plays, 11 yards, 0:19, NEB 27-13
Third Quarter (NEB 34-20)
NEB - 10:05 - Martinez 1 run (Culp kick), 11 plays, 75 yards, 4:55, NEB 34-13
PUR - 1:29 - Payne Durham 20 pass from Plummer (Dellinger kick), 6 plays, 61 yards, 1:59, NEB 34-20
Fourth Quarter (NEB 37-27)
PUR - 12:16 - David Bell 89 pass fromm Plummer (Dellinger kick), 2 plays, 86 yards, 0:46, NEB 34-27
NEB - 7:04 - Culp 32 FG, 8 plays, 79 yards, 5:12, NEB 37-27