Line: Nebraska by 23 1/2
Series Record: Tied 1-1
WHAT'S AT STAKE)A win would put Nebraska in sole possession of first place in the Big Ten West heading into key games against Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. Purdue is looking to continue its improvement on offense with QB Austin Appleby, who'll make his fourth straight start.
KEY MATCHUP)Purdue RBs Raheem Mostert and Akeem Hunt vs. Nebraska's front seven. Mostert and Hunt both average better than 6 yards and carry and were on the field together against Minnesota, combining for 213 of the Boilermakers' 294 rushing yards. Nebraska's defensive line, with the emergence of Maliek Collins and backup Kevin Williams, is getting better by the game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH)
Purdue: Dual-threat QBs like Austin Appleby have been known to confound the Huskers. He's helped the Boilers score more than 31 points in each of his first three career starts.
Nebraska: LB Zaire Anderson will need to be at his best against Purdue's playmakers. He's been on a roll lately and leads the Huskers in tackles and tackles for loss.
FACTS & FIGURES)
Purdue is making its first visit to Lincoln. ... Nebraska WR Kenny Bell needs 7 yards to overtake 1972 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers as the program's all-time leader in receiving yards. ... Huskers RB Ameer Abdullah has scored two or more rushing touchdowns in five straight games. ... S Nate Gerry has interceptions in two straight games and leads the Huskers with three. ... The Boilers are trying to score 31 points or more for a fourth straight game for the first time since 2007. ... Mostert needs 92 yards to break the Purdue career kickoff return yards record held by Dorien Bryant. ... Purdue has scored 27 TDs in eight games compared with 22 in 12 games last year.
*** Posted by Josh Harvey ***