Streaking Purdue prepares for surging Nebraska
Purdue enters Saturday’s visit from Big Ten Conference opponent Nebraska on a three-game winning streak.
If securing those victories by a combined 14 points has left the Boilermakers exasperated, they aren’t showing it.
In fact, Purdue coach Jeff Brohm seems to view the distinction as a badge of honor as the Boilermakers (4-2, 2-1) aim to create more distance from their foes.
“It’s been by the hair of our teeth,” Brohm said. “We’ve had to scratch and claw to get (the wins). So that’s just how it’s going to be. We got to be willing to work for perfection and better execution, but you got to have the grit and toughness to be able to hang in to the very end.”
The Boilermakers’ latest show of mettle came last week at Maryland. While Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell had a strong game — 30-for-41 passing for 360 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception — the team had to exhale just the same.
A 31-29 victory was cemented only after Maryland was penalized for an ineligible man downfield on a would-be, game-tying, two-point conversion with 35 seconds remaining.
Nebraska (3-3, 2-1) presents the next test for Purdue on Saturday night in West Lafayette, Ind.
Despite a tumultuous start to the season that included the firing of coach Scott Frost, the Cornhuskers are tied with Purdue and No. 24 Illinois for the lead in the Big Ten West.
Nebraska has rebounded from a 1-3 start with successive conference victories against Indiana and Rutgers.
The Cornhuskers didn’t allow a point in the second half of their win over Rutgers last week, but they figure to face a tall order in stopping the connection between O’Connell and Payne Durham, who had seven receptions for 109 yards and a score for Purdue last week.
Nebraska’s Casey Thompson threw for a pair of second-half scores vs. Rutgers as the program continues to rally around interim coach Mickey Joseph.
“We want to build a culture of winning around here,” Thompson said, “but we have to focus on the process and winning on a daily basis.”
–Field Level Media