College Football Picks, Predictions, and Previews: The Way It Oughtta Be

Nebraska vs. Purdue 12/5/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Nebraska visits Purdue on 12/5/2020 at 12:00PM.

Nebraska and Purdue face off in an important game for both teams as every game in this shortened season with limited or no fans in attendance means more. Nebraska has a record of 1-4 this season. Purdue is 2-3 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Nebraska Team Defense Preview

Nebraska has had 54 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 6.57 plays per drive. The struggle is real. Nebraska cannot find a way to get opposing offenses off the field. Three and outs are not common and if the team needs a three-and-out late in a game to get the ball back, it is just not happening.Nebraska has shown an inability to stop defenses from converting on 4th Downs and they let opponents get into manageable 3rd Down situations where an RPO may be especially deadly. Nebraska opponents pass the football 40.85% of the time.Their opponents favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Nebraska is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to create negative yardage plays on the ground. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 2.96 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average defense when it comes to how offensive lines control or fail to control them on the ground. This is also a team that is allowing running backs and quarterbacks to get to the second-level in an average fashion. Opponents have shown a relatively average level of explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play against them.

This is not a disruptive Defense and they get pushed over way too easily. Perhaps they are too vanilla with playcalling. Getting more granual into the front seven and their ability to cause trouble, they are just average in this regard. Nebraska is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Nebraska Team Offense Preview

Nebraska has had 52 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 5.81 plays per drive. Nebraska runs a lot of plays per drive and this could wear an opposing defense down. Nebraska has shown a capability to be explosive on first and second down to avoid third downs and has converted well (relatively) on 3rd and 4th Down situations. Nebraska passes the football 43.38% of the time.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Nebraska is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to avoid negative yardage plays on the ground. How effective is the offensive line given what we know about their ability to prevent negative yards on rushing plays? More than you think, thanks to the Adjusted Line Yards metric. Nebraska can take credit for 2.97 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average offensive line as far as their ability to set up the running game. The offensive line and running back corps deserve a lot of credit for gashing defenses with their running game like the way they have this season. They feature a relatively average explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play, but it is not something to count on from them.

Defenses have been able to impose their will on the Nebraska Offense this season. Front sevens of opposing defenses are causing a lot of problems. Nebraska has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

Purdue Team Defense Preview

Purdue has had 59 total defensive drives this season and they yield 6.2 plays per drive. The struggle is real. Purdue cannot find a way to get opposing offenses off the field. Three and outs are not common and if the team needs a three-and-out late in a game to get the ball back, it is just not happening.Purdue has a generally average defense. Nothing too special about it, but they are capable of rising up when needed. Passing plays make up 44.26% of their opponents’ play calls.Their opponents favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Purdue is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to create negative yardage plays on the ground. How effective are opposing offensive lines given what we know about their ability to force negative yardage rushing plays? Purdue can take credit for holding the offensive line of their opponent to 2.5 yards per carry. Opponent offensive lines have been simply unable to support their running games against this defense. When it comes to getting to that second level, running backs are getting stopped. This defense does not allow themselves to be gashed. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to give up big rushing plays.

This is not a disruptive Defense and they get pushed over way too easily. Perhaps they are too vanilla with playcalling. This front seven is simply unable to make an impact, something must change or else the problems will repeat. Purdue is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Purdue Team Offense Preview

Purdue has had 57 total drives this season and they generate 5.89 plays per drive. Purdue runs a lot of plays per drive and this could wear an opposing defense down. Purdue has shown a capability to be explosive on first and second down to avoid third downs and has converted well (relatively) on 3rd and 4th Down situations. Purdue passes the football 63.99% of the time.This is an Air Raid Offense team, they are going to pass the ball a lot and running plays are only used to keep opponents honest.

Purdue struggles with running the ball, getting zero or negative yard plays is disspiriting and the offensive line is not effectively making a good push. Poor playcalling, pre-snap adjustments or post-snap reads may be responsible and this could fall on the Quarterback, Offensive Coordinator, and Head Coach. How effective is the offensive line given what we know about their ability to prevent negative yards on rushing plays? More than you think, thanks to the Adjusted Line Yards metric. Purdue can take credit for 2.87 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average offensive line as far as their ability to set up the running game. This is a team that is rather above-average when it comes to gashing defenses. The threat of the run should force opposing to play more honest and assignment defensive football is a must. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to bust out big rushing plays.

Defenses have had trouble making big, disruptive plays against Purdue this season. There has been a relatively good job done by this Offensive Line to prevent opposing front sevens from causing problems consistently. Purdue has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

The Nebraska Roster

The Players to Watch for Nebraska

Luke McCaffrey QB 6-2 200

This season, Luke McCaffrey has put up 455 yards and 1 touchdowns. He has thrown 5 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 107.6thus far this season. Luke McCaffrey has thrown 5 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Luke McCaffrey has 360.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 94.92 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 61.0 times this season, which puts him in the 87.3 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 3.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Dedrick Mills RB 5-11 220

This season, Dedrick Mills has 95 rushing yards on 31 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 2 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Dedrick Mills picked up 33 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 6 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Wan’Dale Robinson WR 5-10 185

This season, Wan’Dale Robinson picked up 227 yards. He caught the ball 30 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Ben Stille DL 6-5 295

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for Nebraska, Ben Stille has 19 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 2 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 66.53 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 30.46 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Marquel Dismuke S 6-2 215.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Nebraska, Marquel Dismuke had 36 tackles which puts him in the 88.75 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 3 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 94.61 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Marquel Dismuke as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes this season, which puts him in the 38.31 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

Dicaprio Bootle CB 5-10 195

Considered the leading tackler among Cornerbacks for Nebraska, Dicaprio Bootle had 17 tackles which puts him in the 72.29 percentile among Corners. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 35.19 percentile among Corners. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Dicaprio Bootle as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes this season, which puts him in the 82.99 percentile among Corners this season.

The Purdue Roster

The Players to Watch for Purdue

Aidan O’Connell QB 6-3 200

This season, Aidan O’Connell has put up 916 yards and 7 touchdowns. He has thrown 2 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 135.3thus far this season. Aidan O’Connell has thrown 2 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Aidan O’Connell has -69.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 1.59 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 12.0 times this season, which puts him in the 44.92 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 0.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Alexander Horvath RB 6-3 230

This season, Alexander Horvath has 421 rushing yards on 82 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 2 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Alexander Horvath picked up 266 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 26 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

David Bell WR 6-2 205

This season, David Bell picked up 493 yards. He caught the ball 43 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 7 receiving touchdowns this season.

Lorenzo Neal DT 6-3 325

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Purdue, Lorenzo Neal has 10 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 2 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 71.33 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 33.72 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Branson Deen DL 6-2 275

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for Purdue, Branson Deen has 11 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 2 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 66.53 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 1 times this season, which put him in the 68.5 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Cory Trice S 6-3 210.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Purdue, Cory Trice had 30 tackles which puts him in the 81.83 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 1 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 73.47 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Cory Trice as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes this season, which puts him in the 38.31 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

Cam Allen CB 6-1 200

Considered the leading tackler among Cornerbacks for Purdue, Cam Allen had 24 tackles which puts him in the 86.51 percentile among Corners. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 2 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 92.38 percentile among Corners. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Cam Allen as a ball hawker was able to pick off 2 passes this season, which puts him in the 94.13 percentile among Corners this season.

Nebraska vs. Purdue Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Nebraska 35 Purdue 32

Spread Pick: Nebraska +2.5 -114 Pinnacle Sports
Moneyline Pick: Nebraska +110 Heritage
Total Pick: Over 62.5 -112 Pinnacle Sports