Corn Nation is the best Nebraska community on the Internet, and they have a passionate community ready to discuss anything about their beloved Cornhuskers. I submitted some questions to their managers and we have the rare five-way responses:
T-Mill: Purdue has owned the Cornhuskers since the first ever meeting in 1958. In fact, Nebraska not only has never beaten Purdue, but the Cornhuskers haven't even scored a point in the series. How will Nebraska overcome this overwhelming historical advantage?
COBBY: WHEN WE BEAT YOU THIS WEEKEND, WE WILL STORM THE FIELD AND TEAR DOWN YOUR GOAL POSTS AS IS FITTING FOR A GAME OF THIS MAGNITUDE. OH AND YOUR WOMEN. WE TAKE THEM AS WELL.
Aaron Musfeldt: Don't mind Cobby. He entertains us over at Corn Nation. To answer your question, I suppose the best way to overcome our problems against Purdue would be to make sacrifices to the ACL Gods. That new QB of yours should do the trick!
Jon Johnston: First, we have to score and overcome that hurdle. Then, score again. And again. Then keep on scoring because we never know when our defense will decide to not cover people. We're not accustomed to such schizophrenia... well, on the field at least.
Husker Mike: To borrow a meme from last year's Big Ten Championship game...
/Northern Illinois Scores Again
Andy Ketterson: Thank God we are catching you in a down year. This goose egg has plagued our nightmares for decades and the odds are good that this horrible burden will be lifted. We will overcome this historical anomaly by showing up and dressing the 1st teamers.
T-Mill: Are we going to see a battle of freshmen quarterbacks between Danny Etling and Tommy Armstrong or is Taylor Martinez back?
COBBY: THAT WOULD BE PRETTY SWEET TO SEE TWO DOODS BATTLING IT OUT ON THE FIELD. SWORDS? GUNS? BAZOOKAS? ANYTHING BUT CHESS AND WE WILL WIN.
Aaron: We won't know until later this week, but I would bet that Tommy will get the start and that Taylor won't see any playing time this weekend. Nebraska has their second bye after Purdue so that will give Taylor a couple more weeks of rest before the meat grinder starts up.
Husker Mike: Right now, the question is whether Taylor Martinez even makes the travel squad. On Wednesday, he was still wearing a boot on his foot
Mister Mike: It's been confirmed. Taylor will not be playing this week against Purdue. You'll see Tommy Armstrong take a majority of the snaps with Senior QB Ron Kellogg thrown in for a couple of drives.
Andy: As much as Balboa-Lang I was a "battle", yes we will. Your coach doesn't have a heart condition, does he? I'd hate for this to end with Etling blubbering incoherently over his corpse like the Rock after this one ends in a KO.
T-Mill: You have to be encouraged that Wisconsin ran at will on Purdue and Ameer Abdullah is carrying the ball well. How heavy of a dose are we in store for?
COBBY: LAST TIME SOMEONE ASKED ME ABOUT A HEAVY DOSE OF SOMETHING I HAD JUST WOKEN UP IN A HOSPITAL.
Aaron: Nebraska likes to run about two-thirds of the time. I don't expect that to change a whole lot this weekend. The only difference might be that the Huskers rotate in more guys like Terrell Newby and Imani Cross.
Mister Mike: Last year we averaged 27 passes/game. We're averaging just over 76 plays/game this year with 26 passes/game, but that's to be expected since Taylor Martinez hasn't played since the UCLA game. So doing the math we're averaging 50 rushes/game. Almost a 2:1 run/pass ratio. I wouldn't expect much to change in this game, especially with Beck probably being a little more protective of his new toy at QB. I'd expect to see even more rush attempts and around 20 pass attempts this game. If the run is really working, don't expect us to go away from it very much. That also opens up the play action game of course, so while there may not be many passes attempted, I'd expect some deep shots down the field to catch Purdue when they stack the box.
Andy: Think Travolta jamming the adrenalin needle into Uma Thurman's breastplate. Something like that.
T-Mill: Nebraska can score some points, but the defense has been a question mark at times while Etling show he can move the ball through the air. is this a concern even though Etling has a whole 30 minutes of college experience?
COBBY: 30 MINUTES? IT ONCE TOOK ME 30 MINUTES TO SCORE WITH AN INDIANA GRAD. AFTERWARDS, I ASKED HER "HOOSIER DADDY?", BUT THE BLANK STARE I GOT BACK FROM HER DISCOURAGED ANY FURTHER CONVERSATION. SHE WASN'T THE BRIGHTEST CRAYON IN THE BOX.
Aaron: Nebraska's defense last weekend against Illinois was deceptive. They still gave up a lot of big plays and had help from Illinois. The Huskers stopped Illinois on a couple 4th downs inside their own territory and they also got help from a few timely turnovers. If Purdue keeps their mistakes down and can execute their plays well, they should be able to score points this weekend.
Husker Mike: Nebraska's defensive problems have been primarily in stopping (a) mobile quarterbacks and (b) running backs. I don't see Etling or Akeem Hunt fitting that description.
Mister Mike: Honestly, I'm expecting Purdue to put up some points on us early. But like Husker Mike said, Etling doesn't really fit the "dual-threat" QB description. If you guys can get solid play from your OL, keep Etling upright most of the time, and limit your TO's, I think this could be a game.
T-Mill: The Red Army has famously invaded stadiums all over the place. Should we expect a large crowd in West Lafayette, especially with $3 tickets available on Stubhub?
COBBY: I THINK THE ONLY WAY THAT YOU DON'T SEE A LOT OF HUSKER FANS AT THE GAME THIS WEEKEND IS IF THEY GET CONFUSED AND GO TO EAST LAFAYETTE INSTEAD.
Aaron: I'm not sure. There's definitely some lethargy in Husker Nation these days. This was suppose to be the year when all the pieces came together and the schedule was going to be very favorable. The scare against Wyoming and the crapping of the bed against UCLA will probably keep a few potential travellers at home. I would expect about the same type of traveling caravan as you saw in East Lansing last year. 10,000 or so is probably a good guess.
Jon: I'll be shocked if you don't. At $3 a ticket, I'd expect Husker fans from everywhere within your state to show up if for no other reason than they can tell their grandchildren that they paid $3 for a ticket to see a Husker game.
Mister Mike: Generally Husker fans travel well. You'll see a few thousand of us at your stadium this weekend. Bank on it.
Andy: Are you known for your strip clubs? We've got a lot of white haired alums who'll lie to the wives about Indiana being on their bucket list or some crap, so they can make the trip. Then they'll hit the clubs and start behaving like Pac Man Jones. The really twisted old freaks will bring the wives along.
T-Mill: What has to go wrong for Nebraska for Purdue to continue its lengthy historical dominance?
COBBY: YOU MEAN PUR-WHO? I ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT NICKNAME WAS NOTRE LAME. ALMOST AS STUPID AS N IS FOR NOWLEDGE. IF YOU SEE ME PLAYING QB, WE ARE IN TROUBLE, OTHERWISE BOILER THE EFF DOWN!
Aaron: If the offense makes some mistakes and gives the ball to Purdue for some easy points, the Boilers can stay in this one. No matter what happens, I'm guessing that Nebraska will get it's first points every against Purdue on Saturday.
Jon: Locusts. Tornadoes. Sharknado? Can they make it that far inland?
Husker Mike: Whatever it was that affected Georgia last weekend, perhaps? Maybe food poisioning? Seriously, it looks like Tommy Armstrong is going to start; first road game for a freshman. Stack the box, stop the run and try to force Nebraska to throw. Maybe you'll get a few turnovers.
Mister Mike: In a word: turnovers. A good amount of luck would help out too. To keep yourselves in this game, you'll probably have to come up with 4 or 5 of them to make it interesting. You're also going to have to hope that our defense demonstrates the same ineptitude that we did against Wyoming, UCLA, and SDSU as far as tackling in space and our gap integrity and fits in the run game. You're also going to have to find a way to keep Randy Gregory out of Etling's face. He'll move around on the line, so you'll have to note where he is on every snap.
Andy: I know I'm supposed to play nice & act like you have a chance, but I just don't see it. It's not personal, Tom Haden, it's just business. If it makes you feel better, I still fondly remember Drew Brees laying the smack down on Kansas St. in the Alamo Bowl - one of their many losses in bowls that they felt were beneath them. aahhhh yes........ What? OK, back from my happy place, that was fun. Yessir, Purdue is OK by me.