- Associated Press - Thursday, October 2, 2014

No. 19 Nebraska (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) at No. 10 Michigan State (3-1, 0-0), 8:14 p.m. (ABC)

Line: Michigan by 7.

Series Record: Nebraska leads 7-1.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Nebraska can start a season with six straight wins for the first time since 2001, establish itself as a Big Ten title contender and become part of the College Football Playoff conversation. Defending Big Ten champion Michigan State can reassert itself as a playoff contender after its 19-point loss at Oregon a month ago.

KEY MATCHUP

Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah vs. Michigan State front seven. The Spartans have held 28 opponents under 100 yards rushing since 2011. The Cornhuskers have proved to be one of the few teams able to run against the Spartans. Abdullah already has three 200-yard games this season and has emerged as a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Nebraska: DE Randy Gregory played only one quarter over the first two games after aggravating an old knee injury. He’s back to full speed and has 4 ½ sacks the past two games. Gregory lines up on either side and occasionally is used as a blitzing linebacker.

Michigan State: RB Jeremy Langford, who set a school record by rushing for more than 100 yards in eight straight games last year, picked up his first 100-yard game of 2014 last week. He’ll need another big game if the Spartans want to play ball control and keep Abdullah and the Huskers’ up-tempo offense off the field.

FACTS & FIGURES

The Huskers haven’t beaten a Top 10 opponent on the road since Washington in 1997. … Michigan State has won 10 straight against Big Ten opponents since 2012. … Nebraska is second nationally in rushing offense (354.8 ypg), Michigan State is fourth in rushing defense (78.3 ypg). … The Spartans’ 201 points through the first four games are most in program history. … MSU QB Connor Cook’s 192.3 passer rating is first in the Big Ten and third in the FBS. … Abdullah, with 663 career rushing attempts, needs six to break Mike Rozier’s school record.

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