FORT WAYNE – Records: Boilermakers (1-4, 0-1 Big Ten); Cornhuskers (4-1, 1-0)
When: Noon today
Where: Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: 1380 AM, 1480 AM, 92.7 FM
On the Web: To watch a video preview for the game, go to Boiling Point at www.journalgazette.net
3 matchups to watch
Danny Etling vs. freshman mistakes: Etling, a freshman, gets his first start at quarterback for Purdue. Although the 6-foot-2 Terre Haute native had two weeks to prepare, Purdue coach Darrell Hazell said he expected some hiccups, but he believes Etling can make up for his mistakes with his ability to throw downfield and open up the offense sideline to sideline, as opposed to the between-the-hash approach the Boilermakers resorted to with Rob Henry.
Purdue run defense vs. Ameer Abdullah: The Boilermakers have not been as sound against the run as expected this season, and they will face the No. 9 rushing offense in the country today. That attack is led by Abdullah, a 5-9, 190-pound junior, who is ninth in the NCAA with 138 rushing yards per game. He creates issues because of his shiftiness and power within Nebraska’s run schemes. Hazell said the Cornhuskers employ a more deceptive style of running game than Wisconsin, which ran for nearly 400 yards against the Boilermakers in a 41-10 Purdue loss, but Abdullah can still crash between the tackles.
Pre-bye week Purdue vs. Post-bye week Purdue: This is a chance to see how the team responded to Hazell’s message in the bye week and the personnel and schematic changes his staff made. There were some major shifts outside the quarterback flip, including defensive tackle Bruce Gaston’s move to defensive end and the inclusion of freshmen Ra’Zahn Howard (tackle) Jake Replogle (end) and Evan Panfil (end) in the defensive line rotation. The Boilermakers will also be relying on a pair of freshmen at receiver – Dan Monteroso, fresh off a collarbone injury, and DeAngelo Yancey, who showed promise in a career-best game against Northern Illinois. Keep a close eye out for more vertical plays in the offense and a bit more aggressiveness off the edges on defense, as well.
Prediction: Nebraska 40, Purdue 24