Adrian Martinez

Adrian Martinez returned to the field but had an up-and-down first half.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Nebraska took a 10-0 lead early, then fell apart on both sides of the ball, and now trails 14-10 on the road at Purdue.

The Boilermakers put together an 89-yard touchdown drive and a 96-yard touchdown drive back to back to take the lead.

Adrian Martinez is back at quarterback after a knee injury sidelined him for two games. He’s been so-so, completing 10 for 16 passes for 116 yards and one interception. The Huskers have no run game, averaging 4 yards per carry. Wan’Dale Robinson has 11 total touches with 17 rushing yards and 24 receiving yards.

Nebraska has had the ball inside the red zone three times, but came away with just 10 points.

Purdue wasn't much better offensively until the final two drives, but has taken advantage of Nebraska’s mistakes. Jack Plummer has completed 16 passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns. He leads the Boilermakers with 58 rushing yards.

Purdue will get the ball after the half.

Martinez’s first play was a 40-yarder to JD Spielman, but the next three plays totaled one yard, and Nebraska punted from the Purdue 39-yard line.

On the next drive, Martinez rolled out of pressure on fourth-and-6 and hit Kanawai Noa for 34 yards to the 2-yard-line. Dedrick Mills finished off the drive for a 7-0 Husker lead.

Tight coverage from redshirt freshman Braxton Clark led to a third-and-12 incompletion from Plummer on the next drive and another Purdue punt. Dicaprio Bootle, usually a starting corner, started at safety in place of the injured Cam Taylor-Britt. Clark filled in for Bootle.

After an NU punt, Plummer tried to flick a pitch inside, but hit the belly of defensive tackle Darrion Daniels, who picked the ball and rumbled down to the 2-yard line. Instead of calling Mills’ number like last time, Nebraska called two pass plays. Martinez was sacked, and NU had to settle for a 23-yard field goal for 10-0.

Eli Sullivan got a hand on Purdue’s next punt and NU took back over on Purdue’s side of the 50. On third-and-5, Robinson ran for six. The next play, Martinez didn’t see a safety waiting on Spielman’s wheel route and was picked off, the second straight drive in the red zone without a touchdown.

Lamar Jackson covered up that mistake with a one-handed pick to give NU the ball back, but Nebraska went three-and-out.

Purdue then found some offensive rhythm on an 89-yard drive that ended with points. Plummer dumped off a pass to Milton Wright for 17 yards on third-and-15 to make it first-and-goal. He hit King Doerue for three yards and a score to cut it to 10-7.

Purdue got the ball again — at the 4-yard line — with about four minutes left in the half but Plummer and Purdue were still humming. A third-and-3 completion kept the drive alive, and a 15-yard penalty on JoJo Domann pushed the ball past the 50.

Plummer scrambled for 19 yards on the next play to get into field goal range. But a field goal wouldn’t be necessary, after Plummer hit Payne Durham for 16 yards and a score.

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Chris Heady covers Husker football and is the Nebraska men's basketball beat writer. He started at The World-Herald in 2017. Follow him on Twitter @heady_chris. Email:

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