- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

No. 19 NEBRASKA (5-1, 1-1 Big Ten) at NORTHWESTERN (3-3, 2-1), 7:30 p.m. EDT (Big Ten Network)

Line: Nebraska by 6 1/2.

Series Record: Nebraska leads 5-2.


Both teams are trying to stay in the thick of the Big Ten West race. Nebraska came up short against Michigan State 27-22 two weeks ago and Northwestern fell at Minnesota last week. Minnesota and Iowa lead the division at 2-0.


Nebraska’s running game against Northwestern’s defensive line. The Cornhuskers boast one of the most prolific running games in the nation with TB Ameer Abdullah leading the way. They are facing a team that ranks 11th in the Big Ten against the run.


Nebraska: Abdullah. With 878 yards, he has a chance this week to become the first Husker with three 1,000-yard rushing seasons. He’s coming off a rough outing, managing just 67 yards from scrimmage against Michigan State to end a nation-leading string of 18 games with at least 100.

Northwestern: RB Justin Jackson. A freshman, he has led Northwestern in rushing in all six games this season and is the first Wildcat with back-to-back 100-yard performances since 2012.


Northwestern and Nebraska have played three times since the Cornhuskers arrived in the Big Ten in 2011, and all three have been nail-biters. Nebraska won 27-24 in Lincoln last year when Jordan Westerkamp snagged Ron Kellogg III’s tipped desperation heave to the end zone on the final play. … The Cornhuskers are trying to reach the conference championship game for the second time in three years and win their first league title since 1999. … The Cornhuskers rank second in the Big Ten and fifth in the nation in rushing at 303.5 yards per game. They’ve run for more than 400 twice this season. … Northwestern ranks second in the Big Ten and 11th in the country in scoring defense (17.5 points per game); through the first six games a year ago, the Wildcats allowed 28.3 on average. … Northwestern is tied for the league lead in interceptions (nine) with Ohio State and Minnesota.

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