Mohamed Barry

Nebraska is allowing 4.36 yards per rush (77th). Only three teams in the country have attempted more passes than Purdue.

Taking away the ground game

LINCOLN — Nebraska doesn’t want Purdue to find a running game this week.

The Boilermakers haven’t been good on the ground. Their 2.37 yards per carry rank 129th among 130 FBS teams, as do their four total rushing touchdowns. Their leading back, freshman King Doerue, has 289 rushing yards, and only one other player owns more than 100 (Zander Horvath has 146).

NU inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud said Purdue has been searching for a spark through different formations and personnel groupings. The team has many “versatile backs” — players who can handle fullback and running back roles.

Nebraska is allowing 4.36 yards per rush (77th). Only three teams in the country have attempted more passes than Purdue.

“In my mind, good defense always starts with stopping the run, even if a team’s maybe a pass-first type of team,” Ruud said. “So stopping the run is always the first priority of a defense.”

Ruud said his ’backers will be prepared for QB runs. Purdue’s Jack Plummer has gained 150 yards on the ground but has minus-5 yards overall when factoring in sacks.

‘The elephant in the room’

Defensive lineman Ben Stille was a fan of the team meeting Monday, when Scott Frost apologized to everyone for some of his actions on the sideline Saturday.

“There was definitely some tension on the sideline during the game, so definitely just addressed the elephant in the room,” Stille said.

The tension, Stille said, came from the general feeling that Nebraska should’ve been winning but kept shooting itself in the foot.

Frost said as much Monday to the media, that the reason he was so upset was that his team was making the same mistakes that lost games a year ago. At halftime, he told the Husker Sports Network that his team was making “dumbass stupid” mistakes.

Frost said the meeting was to explain why he’d been so upset. And in that meeting, some players apologized back for their actions on the sideline during the loss.

“Definitely made a lot of people feel a lot better afterward,” Stille said.

Freshman leaders

Adrian Martinez has been in Wan’Dale Robinson’s shoes. A true freshman trying to lead.

Robinson raised some eyebrows Saturday after he said he has been in older players’ heads to try to change the internal culture.

Martinez said Robinson has earned the right to say such things.

“I think part of that is guys see him on the field, they see him battle and play tough and take big hits and make big catches,” Martinez said. “He’s earned that respect, the respect from the whole team, especially the older guys on the team, and he’s earned that voice. He’s found his way, as all true freshmen have to do, something I went through as well. I think he’s been doing a great job for us and he’s starting to figure it out.”

More playmakers coming

Indiana receiver Whop Philyor had himself a day against Nebraska, with nearly 180 yards receiving.

Defensive backs coach Travis Fisher was asked if it would’ve been feasible to have one of the starting corners — Dicaprio Bootle or Lamar Jackson — shadowing Philyor on every play.

Fisher said no. Not in this defense.

“Just right now with a lot of fast-paced offenses, and stuff like that, you’re not allowed to get those guys running all over the field like that,” Fisher said. “It’s something I’ve definitely thought about.”

Purdue has a few receivers who could give NU fits. David Bell has 653 receiving yards, third-most in the conference. Rondale Moore, the Big Ten freshman of the year in 2018, could also return from an injury for this game, Fisher said.

— Evan Bland, Chris Heady

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