WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Nebraska has a well-earned reputation for lighting up the scoreboard.
The Cornhuskers might finally have a solid defense to go with their potent offense. Nebraska held Purdue to 216 yards in a 44-7 win on Saturday afternoon.
The Huskers had shaky defensive performances earlier in the season, especially against Wyoming and UCLA, but Nebraska's defense now has posted solid back-to-back efforts in wins over Illinois and Purdue.
"We've always been known as the Blackshirts," Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory said. "I think the coaches, and I have, and some of the other guys have been waiting for us to come together and waiting for us to play like the Blackshirts that everyone knows. These last two weeks are big for us for how we want to play the rest of the season."
Nebraska quarterback Ron Kellogg III said the Huskers were focused on producing a strong game on both offense and defense.
"There was a lot of energy, and we wanted to prove something," he said. "We want to dominate the Big Ten, that's the big thing."
The Boilermakers ran for just 32 yards on 25 carries and didn't score until the final minute of the game when Purdue's Danny Etling found DeAngelo Yancey for a 55-yard touchdown pass with 39 seconds remaining. Nebraska defensive end Greg McMullen said the Cornhuskers were disappointed that they lost the shutout so late.
"Me and Donovan Vestal was arguing who was going to get the sack, but instead we got a 50-yard bomb for a touchdown, so it was very disappointing," McMullen said. "We wanted the shutout."
Ameer Abdullah ran for 126 yards and a touchdown, Terrell Newby ran for 61 yards and Imani Cross added 56 yards and two touchdowns for the Cornhuskers (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten).
Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez sat out with a turf toe injury. Tommy Armstrong Jr. started and completed just 6 of 18 passes for 43 yards with three interceptions. Kellogg stepped in and completed 10 of 13 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown.
Armstrong was unhappy with his performance.
"I felt like I did alright but, honestly, mistakes were made and it could have cost us the game, and that's something that I have to fix," he said.
Purdue changed starting quarterbacks during its bye week following a 55-24 loss to Northern Illinois, but the offense didn't improve. Etling completed 14 of 35 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown in his first career start. Yancey caught five passes for 146 yards and a touchdown for the Boilermakers (1-5, 0-2).