Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Nebraska is facing a team from Indiana and it brings with it the Big Ten’s “best” passing offense.
Yes, that was the case last week. The Huskers passed that test. Now Purdue rolls to town with the top-ranked passing offense based on passing yards per game. The Boilermakers are averaging 305.5 yards per game, 20.5 yards more than the Hoosiers are averaging after facing the Huskers, a fact mentioned by a handful of members of Nebraska’s defensive staff on Tuesday.
Purdue does not have the best passing offense in the Big Ten. It will throw the ball a lot. The Boilermakers are averaging 47 attempts per game, nearly 13 more attempts than any team in the Big Ten and a gap like that sort of makes a team the yardage leader almost by default.
But Purdue also ranks 13th in the Big Ten in completion percentage (54.6), 13th in passer rating (115.45) and last in interceptions (11). Consider this your friendly reminder that yards-per-game stats can be pretty worthless.
I’ll dig into some of the real numbers for this game in our stats six-pack preview, but if Purdue comes to Lincoln and wants to throw it 60 times, like it did last week against Iowa, it will be playing right into Nebraska’s secondary. That group might be playing as well as any for the Huskers right now, and Nebraska has the third-best opponent passer rating in the Big Ten behind Michigan and Ohio State.
If the Boilermakers decide its “bombs away” on Saturday, I’ll count that as a good development for Nebraska.
WHEN KEEPIN’ IT REAL GOES RIGHT
I’ve been impressed with a lot of things Jamie Pollard has done as the AD at Iowa State over the years. I’m even more impressed with the game he was playing in a radio interview yesterday about Big 12 expansion.
Here’s the quote everyone is talking about:
“The Big 12 exists because we have Texas and Oklahoma in the room. If we take Texas and Oklahoma out of the room, we’re the Mountain West Conference, and we’re getting $3 million (a year in TV revenue).
“We’ve got two star players, whether people want to like that or not, Texas and Oklahoma. I’m glad to be on a team that’s got two great players. We benefit from being on that team. We could go play on a team and be the star, but then people would be saying ‘how do you get us in one of those Power Five conferences Mr. AD?'”
That’s either shocking honesty, something very uncommon in situations like this, or Pollard is really toeing the party line.
Given what I’ve seen from Pollard previously, I’m considering it the former.
THE GRAB BAG
- Bo Pelini to Purdue? Seems unlikely to me, but who knows?
- No more suits and ties on the road for Purdue.
- Nebraska is No. 11 in Jerry Palm’s latest CFP rankings projection.
- If you’re rooting for CFP chaos, here’s how it happens in each conference.
TODAY’S SONG OF TODAY
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.