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Monday, October 7, 2013
Player of the Week: Big Ten

By Mitch Sherman

Ameer Abdullah would prefer to go unnoticed.

That's not happening now, though.

The junior I-back from Nebraska is the Five Star Player of the Week for his 225-yard rushing performance Saturday against Illinois in the Cornhuskers’ 39-19 victory.

Abdullah literally carried the load as November-like weather blew into Lincoln and slowed the passing game.

“I thought Ameer played great,” Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said. “I thought he would, and he did. The game plan and the running game was good. I thought it set up well for Ameer. On top of that, he made a lot of guys miss.”

Adbullah, who is averaging 136 rushing yards per game this season, established a single-game career-best mark, remaining on pace to exceed the 1,137 yards he gained last season.

The 5-foot-9, 180-pound back did his dirty work a year ago as a replacement for Rex Burkhead, who missed six games with injury. This fall, Abdullah is the full-time workhorse.

The role suits him well. He has topped 100 yards in four of five games, bringing his career total within 23 yards of joining 28 Huskers who have rushed for 2,000 yards. His output on Saturday marked the highest total by a Husker since Roy Helu ran for a school-record 307 yards against Missouri in 2010.

And still, Abdullah deflected praise in the aftermath, offering tributes for his offensive linemen, fullbacks and receivers. He talked for all of two minutes at the post-game press conference before disappearing into the cold afternoon -- just as he would prefer.