Before we move on fully to the next game let's take one final look back at the game vs. Nebraska. Obviously things didn't go great for Purdue but there were definitely some good, bad and ugly. Let's see what falls where shall we?
- Purdue didn't give in. Purdue didn't fold. Right away when you get a punt blocked on your first possession it's easy to put your head down and sort of put the tent away. Purdue didn't do that. Despite giving Nebraska three possessions at the Purdue 30 or closer Purdue allowed Nebraska just 7 points. You couldn't see that as possible last year.
- Akeem Hunt continues to be a force for Purdue. He's been a revelation as he continues through his career. The guy can carry the load as a number one back which with his size is an impressive feat. Now if we could just get him to catch the ball…
- Purdue's defense overall allowed just 297 yards to Nebraska. You would have to think just from the outside looking in that the defense performed pretty well. Unfortunately due to two blocked punts and some other turnovers Nebraska got incredibly short fields which helps these numbers.
- I'm gonna nitpick a little bit here but what's with the constant coaching decision to throw Gabe Holmes down the team's throat and not look to Justin Sinz who, seems to everyone with eyes, is more consistent. With the receivers struggling so mightily it seems common sense to give Austin Appleby the safety blanket of Justin Sinz as often as possible.
- The Purdue punt team was just atrocious all the way around. When you get two punts blocked you have to point fingers all around. Thomas Meadows looked like he got the punts off rather quickly but it seemed that no one was blocking. To make matters worse when Purdue did get punts off they were shanks, probably forcing the punt due to the blocks, and the punt coverage was soft. Nebraska averaged a 14 yard return on these punts. That hurts especially when you only average 34 yards per kick. That ends up being a net 20 yards. At that point you might as well be that crazy coach and not punt at all.
- The receiving corps has been absolutely atrocious. These guys just can't catch which is #1 with a bullet on the job description. There were just so many drops. Gabe Holems and Dan Mosteroso were the main two offenders here. Someone has got to step up and make plays here.
- Injuries. Oh the injuries. Danny Anthrop has played his last game of the season after an ACL injury because of course he has. The guy was Purdue's best receiver hands down. He of course suffered this during a non-contact play. Frankie Williams left the game with a concussion and is still questionable for next weeks game. Frankie is probably Purdue's best player on the defensive side of the ball and he might be out for another game. The injury bug has hit Purdue pretty hard here but that just means the next man has to step up. Let's hope someone does.
So obviously things didn't go perfectly for this Purdue team on Saturday but there was some good. There are things to build on but Purdue doesn't get much of a chance to do that against a slouch as the next game will be against the always tough Wisconsin. Purdue's got to find a way to stop the run next week. Hey, maybe Wisconsin's number one running back will get a minor injury and not play the majority of the game! We can hope.