I've heard other Purdue blogs and media mention this before, but everyone in Boilermaker Nation is still searching for that first marquee win of the Darrell Hazell era.
Hazell called the victory a few weeks ago at Illinois a "validation win" for all of the team's hard work in helping turn the program around. Obviously, Purdue football hasn't quite opened that door yet.
You can't say there's been a turnaround until folks take notice.
|That's the atmosphere that awaits Purdue at|
Nebraska's Memorial Stadium. The balloons are a
nice touch. (Photo belongs to unl.edu)
Isn't Saturday an opportunity?
Look, I know it's not likely. I said before on 2nd Down that Ameer Abdullah is probably going to be too much for a shaky Boilermaker defensive line to handle. The guy is a freak of nature.
But what if...what if...Purdue is able to keep up with them in scoring?
Nebraska's defense hasn't exactly lit the world on fire. The Cornhuskers are just above the middle of the Big Ten pack in total defense, giving up 19 total touchdowns and 339.8 yards per game so far in 2014.
When it comes to the main thing that matters in the result of a football game - points - Nebraska is better. They're tied with Northwestern at fourth in the conference with 20.4 points per game given up.
Purdue's never been to this stadium. From what I've seen over the years, it seems obvious that the crowd will be rocking and the environment Purdue faces will be difficult.
My gut tells me Nebraska beats Purdue by a good two or three touchdowns.
It's not my viewpoint that counts, though. It's what the coaching staff is telling its players. It's what seniors leaders like Ryan Russell, Akeem Hunt and Raheem Mostert are telling their teammates.
It's about what this team believes.
Think about what Austin Appleby said: this team needs to make plays that will get them "over the top".
"We're so close," he said.
Maybe he's right. Why not us?