Game Week: vs. Purdue – University of Nebraska

NEBRASKA vs. PURDUE

October 28, 2023 | MEMORIAL STADIUM

LINCOLN, NEB. | 2:30 p.m. CT

MEN

Record: 4-3, 2-2 Big Ten

Last game: vs. Northwestern, W, 17-9

Ranking: NR

Head Coach: Matt Ruhl

Career/NU Record: 51-46 (8th year)/4-3 (1st year)

vs. Purdue: 0-0

BOILERS

Record: 2-5, 1-3 Big Ten

Last game: vs. Ohio State, L, 41-7

Ranking: NR

Head Coach: Ryan Walters

Career/PUR Record: 2-5 (1st year)/2-5 (1st year)

vs. Nebraska: 0-0

SERIES HISTORY

All-time series: Purdue leads, 6-5

At Lincoln: Tied, 2-2

Last game: Purdue, 43-37 (2022)

Winning streak: Purdue, 2 games

RELEASE INFORMATION

TV – FS1 (Jeff Levering, Mark Helfrich)

RADIO NETWORK – Huskers Radio Network (Greg Sharp, Damon Benning, Jessica Cuddy)

INTERNET RADIO – Huskers.com

APP AUDIO – Official Huskers App

The coincidence

Nebraska faces a Big Ten West opponent in Lincoln for the second straight week as

The Huskers will host Purdue on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium. The game between the Huskers and Boilermakers marks Nebraska’s homecoming contest in 2023 and will begin shortly after 2:30 p.m., with televised coverage provided by FS1 and the Fox Sports app. The game is also available on the Huskers Radio Network, the official Huskers app and Huskers.com.

Nebraska enters the contest with a 4-3 overall record and a 2-2 mark in Big Ten Conference play.

The Huskers have won their last two games and four of five overall to move over the .500 mark

in the last five games of the season.

The Huskers are coming off a 17-9 win over Northwestern last Saturday in Lincoln. The defense dominated the day as the Blackshirts limited Northwestern to just three field goals while recording eight sacks in the win. It was the sixth time in seven games this season that Nebraska’s defense held the opposition to less than 100 yards.

Purdue heads to Lincoln after a bye weekend. The Boilermakers are 2-5 overall and 1-3 in the Big Ten

Conference play under first-year head coach Ryan Walters. Purdue faced one of the nation’s biggest

tough schedules facing six Power Five opponents thus far. The Boilermakers own one of the Big Ten’s

best offense, ranking fourth in the Big Ten in passing yards per game at better than 230 yards per contest.

Nebraska will look to end Purdue’s two-game winning streak in the series as the Boilermakers won

with six points last year at West Lafayette and five points in 2021 at Memorial Stadium.

Series history: Nebraska vs. Purdue

Saturday’s game will be the 12th game of the Nebraska-Purdue series. The Boilermakers hold a 6-5 advantage, and the teams have split four previous meetings in Lincoln.

• The streak is tied at five since Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011. The Huskers won four of their first five games between 2013 and 2017, and Purdue responded by winning four of their last five since 2018.

• Four of the last six games between the schools have been decided by six points or fewer, including Purdue’s six- and five-point wins the past two seasons.

• Nebraska and Purdue will meet for the 12th straight season next fall in West Lafayette. However, with the Big Ten’s new non-division schedule format, the schools will not meet in 2025 or 2026 before resuming with games in 2027 (Lincoln) and 2028 (West Lafayette).

Haarberg Engineering Nebraska Crime

Sophomore quarterback Heinrich Haarberg has started the last five games to lead Nebraska to a 4-1 record. The Kearney, Neb. native led Nebraska to wins over Northern Illinois and Louisiana Tech in his first two starts and was the first Husker quarterback to win his first two starts since then Tommy Armstrong did the same in 2013.

• Haarberg has averaged 222.0 yards of total offense in his five starts, 703 yards passing and 407 yards rushing.

• Haarberg posted 256 yards of total offense in his first start, a 35-11 win over Northern Illinois, including 98 yards rushing and 158 yards passing. He also had three total touchdowns, two through the air and one rushing score.

• Haarberg rushed for 157 yards and threw for 107 yards in the win over Louisiana Tech. His 157 yards were the most by a Husker quarterback since Adrian Martinez also rushed for 157 yards at Rutgers in the 2020 regular-season finale. It was the 18th time in school history that a quarterback has topped 150 yards.

• Haarberg had three runs longer than 30 yards against Louisiana Tech, including a 72-yard touchdown and runs of 43 and 32 yards. He has four total runs of 25 yards or more.

• Haarberg accounted for three TDs against Northern Illinois and is the first Husker quarterback to have three total touchdowns in his first career start at Nebraska since Adrian Martinez had three touchdowns in his first career start against Colorado in 2018.

• Haarberg is the first Nebraska native to start at quarterback for the Huskers since Noah Vedral started games against Indiana and Minnesota in 2019. Haarberg is just the fourth Nebraska native to start a game at quarterback since 2002. (Vedral, Ryker Fife , Ron Kellogg III ). Omaha native Eric Crouch started 42 games at quarterback for Nebraska from 1998-01.

• Haarberg was the first Nebraskan to start and win a game since Fife led Nebraska to a 28-7 win over Maryland in 2016, and the first Nebraska native to win multiple games at quarterback since Crouch.

Gifford Leading Nebraska Secondary

Safety Isaac Gifford established himself as a difference maker in Nebraska’s 2023 secondary, leading the team with 45 tackles. The Lincoln native is among the Big Ten leaders in pass breakups (6th) and passes defensed per game (7th).

• Gifford has been at his best in recent weeks, recording at least seven tackles in each of the last four games, including a season-best eight tackles at Illinois. Gifford also had eight fights in Colorado earlier in 2023.

• Gifford has a team-best six pass breakups and 1.0 passes defensed per game. He had a career-high three PBUs in a 20-7 win at Illinois.

• Gifford was among the top Blackshirts in 2022, recording 70 tackles, including 43 solo stops a year ago.

Hutmacher bears down on Husker opponents

Junior nose tackle Nash Huttmacher has emerged as one of the Big Ten’s most dominant defenders in the 2023 season. The Polar Bear has recorded 26 tackles in 2023, including a team-high four sacks and six tackles for loss. Hutmacher entered the 2023 season with 15 career tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss.

• Huttmacher has perhaps the most dominant game of his career against Northwestern. The South Dakota native had seven tackles, including 2.5 sacks.

• Hutmacher’s sacks against Northwestern made a huge impact for a defense that recorded eight sacks, 13 TFL and limited the Wildcats to 81 rushing yards.

• Overall, Hutmacher had a hand in four sacks in the game. The first came on the Wildcats’ opening drive, forcing Northwestern out of field goal range. The second came after the Wildcats took over at the Nebraska 13 and forced Northwestern to settle for a field goal. His final sack of the game came after the Wildcats reached the Nebraska 5 in the fourth quarter and again forced a field goal to preserve Nebraska’s eight-point lead.

This week’s numbers

16 – Nebraska’s defense has allowed a total of 16 points in its last two games, seven at Illinois and nine against Northwestern. It’s the first time the Huskers have held two straight conference foes to single digits since 2010.

24 – Nebraska’s defense has recorded 24 sacks in seven games this season. The sack total is now Nebraska’s best total since it had 27 sacks in 2019. The last time Nebraska reached 30 sacks in a season was in 2013 when the Huskers had 39 sacks.

112 – Saturday’s game is the 112th homecoming game in University of Nebraska history. The Huskers are 84-23-4 on Homecoming and have won 11 of their last 13 Homecoming games. Nebraska is 8-2 against Big Ten opponents on Homecoming.

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