Published Saturday, October 12, 2013 AT 3:51 PM / Updated at 3:54 PM
Tom’s Takes: Nebraska 44, Purdue 7
Tom Shatel Omaha World-Herald

Lots to like: The Blackshirts almost tossed a shutout, and the first-team did when it was in the game. Tackling was much better. Front four pressure, admittedly against an overwhelmed opponent, was a major factor. Another 100-yard game for Ameer Abdullah. Quality time and plays for Ron Kellogg. Quincy Enunwa was money again. Husker fans showed up big. And the Kenny Bell “Fear the fro” groupies who hung out in the end zone seats.

Not so much: The sight of senior guard Spencer Long on crutches. There was no specific details on his knee injury but the tone of Bo Pelini’s voice was ominous. Hope to see Long back this year. Also, the penalty and ejection of Stanley Jean-Baptiste. From the press box, it looked like Baptiste led with the shoulder. Penalty, maybe. But an ejection for that play is too much.

Harry Grimminger Award: Jordan Westerkamp, not just for three catches (for 53 yards) but more for his work on punt returns. Westerkamp had four for a total of 12 yards (long of seven) but it was how he gave NU a punt return game. What a concept. Keep him back there.

Bottom line: At a venue that reminded me of Kansas’ Memorial Stadium, complete with rows of empty benches in the end zone bowl, the Huskers put up an old-school Big Eight whipping. Purdue is Purdue, but this should be taken for what it was worth: a feel-good day where the future quarterback got valuable experience, the popular senior backup got Kodak moments and NU won going away. That’s the way you want to enter a bye week.

About Tom Shatel

Tom Shatel is a columnist for The Omaha World-Herald. You can get in touch with Tom on Twitter (@tomshatelOWH), or send him an email at