The Husker defense rose to the occasion and the offense clicked Saturday in Lincoln, as Nebraska won an important conference game against the Fighting Illini, 39-19.
Both teams entered the game with 3-1 records. The game was considered to be key in the race for the Big Ten conference championship.
Husker running back Ameer Abdullah rushed for a career-high 225 yards and two touchdowns to lead Nebraska’s ground attack.
Abdullah carried 20 times, including a 43-yard touchdown run on the first drive of the second half that put the Huskers convincingly in the lead, 30-5.
Nebraska rolled up 521 yards of total offense against the Illini, of which 335 yards came on the ground.
Quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr., a redshirt freshman, completed 8-of-13 passes for 135 yards. Senior quarterback Ron Kellogg III added 51 yards passing, completing 3-of-6.
Senior receiver Quincy Enunwa eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in catches with a 26-yard reception in the first quarter. Enunwa became the 22nd player in school history to reach the 1,000 career receiving yards.
“I'm happy to get the win,” Husker head coach Bo Pelini said in the post game press conference. “I thought there were a lot of positives in the game and a lot of things we need to get better at. We're still a work-in-progress as a football team.”
Pelini said the Husker defense is improving.
“Overall, I saw some good things. I saw definite progress, but nowhere near where we need to be," he said.
Nebraska hits the road next week for a Big Ten matchup at Purdue. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. with television coverage on the Big Ten Network.
The Purdue Boilermakers are 1-4 after losing 55-24 Saturday to Northern Illinois.