If Nebraska is to make a bowl this season, it really needs a win on the road this weekend. The Huskers travel to face 2-6 Purdue, which has been beset by injuries in year three of the otherwise very positive Jeff Brohm era.
Nebraska is coming off of a rough loss to Indiana at home. The Huskers, who entered the year as a favorite in the Big Ten West, finds themselves with a major target on their backs despite winning just four games a year ago, its first under Scott Frost.
After this trip, the team hosts No. 18 Wisconsin, travels to Maryland, and then hosts No. 19 Iowa. Purdue and Maryland are both very winnable games, but having both on the road with two really rough home games in November means bowl eligibility is no layup at this point.
Some advanced numbers indicate that the Huskers won't just stroll into West Lafayette and snag a win, even with Purdue's myriad issues this season.
ESPN's Bill Connelly, creator of the SP+ system, posts score projections for every FBS game each week. This week, SP+ likes the Huskers, but by the narrowest of margins.
SP+ projects Nebraska for a 0.8-point win, with a 52-percent chance of beating the Boilermakers. The Huskers are 2.5-point favorites, so the oddsmakers have this one as a tight game as well.
That is actually more optimistic than ESPN's other proprietary metric, Football Power Index.
FPI gives Purdue with a slight edge, and projects just a 46.9-percent chance for Nebraska to win the game. The Huskers are under 50-percent to win every game from here on out.