LINCOLN, Neb - As they get set to host Purdue on Saturday, Nebraska has a lot of momentum, having won four out of their last five, but the road ahead just got more challenging.

Head Coach Matt Rhule announced some major injury news at his Monday press conference, as both offensive lineman Ethan Piper and Turner Corcoran are out for the year, Piper having had knee surgery and Corcoran foot surgery. Meanwhile, another lineman in nor Nouili, is also out for the next few weeks.  On top of that, two way star Tommi hill is day-to-day with an ankle injury and wideout Billy Kemp IV is out for several weeks with an MCL sprain.

Coach Rhule says, while this many offensive injuries is something unlike he’s ever seen before, the Huskers are not backing down.

“Never had anything close to this, but we press on. There’s no sadness sin me. There’s sadness for my guys… Couldn’t even have imagined another receiver going down, Rhule said. “When we walk out on to the field on Saturday, all but two guys on the offense will be underclassmen. Those guys are learning by fire.”

As the Huskers lose some key pieces at O-Line, they will have one back on Saturday. Making his first start of the year at left tackle will be Sophomore Teddy Prochazka, who has missed time with a knee injury.

“Teddy can platy at a super high level,” Rhule said. “He’s had the benefit of all the weeks of practice getting his feet under him. He got some reps in that Michigan game, wasn’t quite to full speed yet, but he’s full speed now. That knee is healthy.”

Nebraska’s defense shined yet again on Saturday against Northwestern, getting to the quarterback eight times in the win. Rhule credits savvy pass rush formations and flexible player rotation.

“We have guys who can rush off the edge. When it’s a four man rush, it’s given the quarterback time to step up, but going to that five man rush allowed us to have five one-on-one’s,” Rhule said. “We just have a lot of guys we can rotate in there to play. Guys can play fast, they compete with each other to get more reps, and they hit the movements and execute the movements.”

However, the offense struggled. Heinrich Haarberg threw two interceptions and the Huskers had a number of close calls in terms of coughing up the football. It wasn’t a stellar day, and Rhule knew it.

“That was one of the best wins I’ve been a part of, but it certainly wasn’t the best performances I’ve been a part of,” Rhule said. “The first three drives, three of the first six plays are turnovers, or balls on the ground, then we settle down and we score, we score. So we have to grow up a bit when it comes to taking care of the ball.”

In taking on Purdue on Saturday, the Huskers will face a team in off a bye week for the second week in a row. Another factor to watch throughout the week is the weather, with early gamey forecasts indicating a cold, wet type of day, but Rhule says the team isn’t shying away from unfavorable conditions. 

The Huskers and Boilermakers kick off at 2:30 p.m. central time (1:30 mountain) on FS1.