Let’s count the ways things did not go the Huskers’ way against Purdue-
Ameer gets taken out of the game (and possibly longer?) after he gets crushed by his own lineman trying to recover a botched snap on 4th and goal from the Purdue one yard-line.
(Feel free to count snap issues and goal line inefficiency as individual problems if you are so inclined.)
Roommates Tommy Armstrong and Jordan Westerkamp were on the wrong page to the tune of two interceptions.
A Blackshirt interception turned fumble essentially gave Purdue eight downs from inside the Huskers’ 30 yard-line.
True freshman kicker Drew Brown missed his third field goal in four attempts.
Now let’s count the ways things went right-
The Blackshirts held Purdue to 14 points the same total the Boilermakers notched against Notre Dame. Don’t forget they hung 31 points on Michigan State.
Two blocked punts.
Bo Pelini got a sideline penalty and it wasn’t due to taking a swing at an official!
When a 21 point victory over Purdue can feel like a loss to Iowa State, you gotta take a step back and admit that’s a good problem to have when moving into November with an 8 – 1 record.
As frustrating as the game was to listen to (for the record, I still haven’t watched a single highlight), it’s hard to get that upset.
Nine games into the season, we still haven’t seen this edition of the Huskers at their best and we certainly haven’t seen them at their worst. The pendulum has swung in both directions all year long without reaching one extreme or the other. If you think they reached a new low against Purdue, congrats on having a very short memory.
Will playing above average with spurts of greatness and stupidity be enough to beat Wisconsin in Madison? Who knows?
November is shaping up to be an entertaining month so sit back and try to enjoy the ride as best you can. There aren’t many teams that can claim to have an equal chance at making the playoff as making the Meineke Car Care Fight Hunger with Pepperoni Pizza Bowl.
**On a completey unrelated note, the Purdue game was the first time I listened to a Huskers’ radio broadcast from pre-game to post-game in its entirety since Ball State was a missed field goal away from an upset in Lincoln.
Video streaming didn’t work so well out in the middle of nowhere but Greg Sharpe and Matt Davison came through crystal clear. (The only trick is using the TuneIn Radio app rather than the unfortunately unreliable official Huskers app.)
Greg and Matt really make a great team. Greg deftly rides a fine line between the legendary Kent Pavelka’s I’m-about-to-have-an-aneuyrsm level of enthusiasm and professional polish, balanced out by Matt’s nuanced observation and appropriate level of dread when needed.
If you’re ever in the mood to kick it like it’s the 20th century, give those guys a listen sometime.