On Saturday, Ameer Abdullah ran for a career high 225 yards and two touchdowns in a thorough victory over Illinois. In what was thought to be another rough outing for Nebraska turned into a strong defensive job by the "Blackshirts." The total team effort helped Nebraska win their Big 10 home opener.
In the 39-19 win, Nebraska held the high powered Illinois offense to 372 yards. That is a far cry from what the Husker faithful have become accustomed to lately. The victory showed that the defense is making improvements, but still has a lot of work to do.
Offensively, the Cornhuskers put up 521 total yards. The running game has become a true strength in the last two games, and Abdullah has reaped the benefits.
After leading 23-5 at halftime, Abdullah broke free on option right pitch and jitterbugged his way to the end zone for a 44 yard touchdown run. The touchdown was one play after Nebraska tried a little razzle-dazzle with Abdullah throwing the ball off of their vintage toss play. That run set the tone, and showed their was not going to be another 18 point comeback on their home turf.
With Tommy Armstrong making his second start, Nebraska moved the ball with ease. After two first quarter drives, Nebraska led 14-0. Armstrong was 8-13 passing with two touchdowns.
The play of the day was a swooping 37 yard touchdown pass to Kenny Bell. Bell reached high in the air above his head (afro) and corralled the ball with his right hand. Then he raced passed the Illinois defenders for a tremendous touchdown.
Notes: Taylor Martinez missed his 2nd consecutive game with a turf toe injury.
Nebraska is (4-1) overall.
Illinois fell to (3-2).