What we learned: Week 7

October, 13, 2013
10/13/13
10:00
AM ET
Here is what to take away from Nebraska's 44-7 win Saturday at Purdue, as the Cornhuskers enter their second bye week now with a 5-1 record (2-0 in Big Ten play):

1. Defense gets just the medicine it needed. Purdue has had its fair share of struggles offensively, to put it lightly. And Nebraska was facing a freshman quarterback making his first career start. But the Cornhuskers have to be pleased with Saturday's performance, as they have now held consecutive Big Ten opponents to less than 20 points. They forced two turnovers Saturday and notched a safety while holding the Boilermakers to just 216 total yards. They were 39 seconds away from their first shutout in four years, too, before Danny Etling hit DeAngelo Yancey for a 55-yard touchdown pass that served as nothing more than window-dressing. (Nebraska's last shutout came in the 2009 Holiday Bowl against Arizona.)

2. This is still Taylor Martinez's team. Martinez's job was not threatened Saturday, with starter Tommy Armstrong going just 6 of 18 for 43 yards with three interceptions. His lone score came on a rush. Ron Kellogg III was effective in extended action, going 10-for-13 passing for 141 yards and a touchdown. But the bye week will give Martinez more time to recover from the turf toe on his left foot and likely be back for the Oct. 26 game at Minnesota.

3. Bo Pelini is not a fan of the targeting call. No kidding, right? Cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste was ejected for targeting Purdue running back Dalyn Dawkins on a second-quarter call that was very difficult to swallow but probably not all that surprising given the enhanced point of emphasis surrounding such plays in the offseason. Jean-Baptiste, who is 6-foot-3, hit the 5-foot-9 Dawkins on a short pass. Not a whole lot of wiggle room there for Jean-Baptiste. Pelini was vocal in the offseason about targeting and, when asked about the ejection after Saturday's game, said to reporters that they know him well enough by now. He expressed some surprise about the ejection being upheld after review, and compared explanations of the rule to the "Bizarro World" episode of "Seinfeld."

Matt Fortuna | email

College Football

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