Another Week of Big Numbers for Abdullah?
Through 5 games, Ameer Abdullah has rushed for 690 yards on 94 carries, averaging over 7 yards/carry. He currently ranks as the number 7 rusher in the NCAA. Only one other player in the top ten has fewer carries than Abdullah. A product of a rush first attack and a very patient running style, his numbers have also benefited from playing opponents who have had porous rush defenses.
UCLA has been the team with the strongest rush defense that the Huskers have played. With a ranking of 87th in the NCAA allowing an average of 183.2 yards/game, Purdue will be in line with the opponents in the first half of the schedule. Considering his current trends of success, Abdullah should see between 15-20 rushes again. Going by his averages, he would end up with another 100+ yard game.
|Team||Rush Def Rank||Yards/Game Allowed|
|South Dakota St.||72||181.2|
After Purdue, things start to become challenging for the Husker backfield. It is very likely that if Abdullah wants to continue getting 100 on the ground, his touches are going to have to increase. With Imani Cross and Terrell Newby splitting the other half of the carries, these extra touches are going to have to come from one of them. As the stakes increase, the younger Newby might be brought in less and less to spell the top two rushers.
Purdue's challenges into the season at this point do not seem to indicate much success in stopping the Husker running game. It is difficult to imagine a scenario where Abdullah does not have another game of great yardage. The challenges for fans and media then become making sure not to compare future performances without taking into consideration the defensive strength of the teams coming up. The yards will be hard earned, but also critical to the success of the team down the stretch.