Three keys for Nebraska against Purdue:
1. Nebraska plans to give Purdue true freshman quarterback Danny Etling "a lot of different looks," Husker defensive coordinator John Papuchis said. Good plan. It is a plan that should bear fruit in the form of at least two interceptions. That seems a reasonable expectation, especially if Purdue throws 40-plus passes, which is likely. The Huskers already have 10 interceptions this season after having only 13 last season. NU’s 12 total takeaways have led to 63 points.
2. More on the Husker defense: It again needs to be well-prepared and focused mentally because Purdue's offense is pretty complex (read: multiple). NU made big strides in the mental game against a relatively complex Illinois offense.
Husker defensive coaches became especially concerned about their players' ability to adapt on the fly after it required two series to adjust to a flex tight end against South Dakota State.
"Out of (Purdue's) two-back stuff, there's a lot of speed motion that accompanies it," Papuchis said. "They have a one-back spread set. They do a lot of different things, so it forces you to prepare for the multiplicity of the offense.
"I would say that's one of their strengths."
Nebraska coaches have been stressing communication. The Huskers improved in that area last week. That will be integral again Saturday.
3. Don't be afraid to lean on junior running back Ameer Abdullah. He’ll gladly accept that challenge. He has emerged as one of the team's foremost leaders. And let's face it, Purdue allows an average of 4.82 yards per carry, second-worst in the Big Ten behind Illinois.
Prediction: Nebraska 40, Purdue 24