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How and what to watch for Nebraska vs. Purdue

The Nebraska defense struggles against the run and Purdue has versatile weapons they can use on the ground

NCAA Football: Rutgers at Purdue Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a battle near the bottom of the Big Ten this weekend when the 1-4 Nebraska Cornhuskers head to West Lafayette to take on the 2-3 Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday.

Purdue is coming off a surprising loss to Rutgers last weekend at home, where the defense couldn’t stop the Scarlet Knights at all, giving up a season-high 37 points to New Jersey’s state university. The backbreaker was a kickoff returned for a score, but Purdue’s run defense was non-existent. That’s been a consistent theme this season, allowing over 130 yards on the ground to all but one opponent, so it’s a tough matchup against a Nebraska unit that has the 10th-most explosive runs on the season.

Jeff Brohm’s pass defense hasn’t been much better this year, allowing more explosive plays than virtually all FBS defenses. The Boilermaker offense has had some bright spots, particularly wideouts Rondale Moore and David Bell. Moore has played just two games because of injury, but he already has close to 200 total yards and a score. Though if you watched him in past seasons, you know he’s able to change a game with his type of talent.

The Cornhusker defense, much like Purdue’s, has been awful against the run allowing over 200 yards per game. Purdue’s ground game looks bad if you look at yards per game, but that’s only because the Northwestern Wildcats held them to just two yards rushing a few weeks ago. Typically the unit gets well over 100 yards and had a season-high 175 last week, so running back Zander Horvath should have a big day. Plus don’t be surprised if they give Moore the ball a lot on jet sweeps or other running plays as he has the speed to take it the distance from anywhere on the field.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Nebraska vs. Purdue on Saturday, December 5th at 12:00 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network, or you can stream it via the Fox Sports Go app with a cable or streaming service login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Nebraska vs. Purdue (-1)
Point Total: 62.5
Money line: Nebraska (+108) vs. Purdue (-132)

  • The Cornhuskers don’t give bettors a ton of reason to have faith in them, going 4-10 ATS in their last 14
  • Recently Nebraska hasn’t scored a ton of points and the total has hit the under four out of the last five games
  • Purdue has struggled against the spread too, going 1-4 ATS in their last five

Betting splits

Nebraska: (32% of handle, 20% percent of bets)
Purdue: (68% of handle, 80% percent of bets)

The Best Bet

Purdue has been very inconsistent this season, while Nebraska has been consistently bad. This will be Moore’s third game of the season and he should finally be coming into his own.

Pick: Purdue -1

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