Let’s talk turkey or whatever you want to call Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah. The Husker football phenom’s obviously going to be relied upon all season, especially early on as Tommy Armstrong and his backup(s?) get comfortable.
No. 8 was a sensation right off the bat making All-Freshman teams as a running back and kick/punt returner. Once it was time to handle the rock, his star truly began to shine.
It’s understandable why offensive coordinator Tim Beck would like to be “more balanced” as he puts it. Last season, Nebraska ran 584 rushing plays to 381 when the ball was in the air.
Nebraska’s second season in the Big Ten showed that Beck at least tried to balance out his offense. The 2012 squad ran 662 plays that kept to the ground versus 378 passes.
Here’s the thing: Running the ball did Nebraska more favors both years. There’s no reason to be more “balanced”, but rather more efficient. Get your bread and butter down to a science.
In 2012, running the ball totalled 55 percent of the Big Red’s yardage while passing resulted in 45 percent.
2013 saw a slight shift with 53 percent coming by way of the ground and 47 through the air, but that was thanks in large part to Taylor Martinez and Ron Kellogg III, both seniors.
Beck has running backs Imani Cross, Terrell Newby and Adam Taylor to use (and he’ll use them all), but there’s a reason Husker fans are touting the Alabama native for Heisman Trophy candidacy.
Yeah, more balance is ideal, but this is still an unproven offensive line. Abdullah’s had to make his own space in the past, though.
I think we see those rushing attempts shift back towards 2012’s effort with No. 8 leading the way.
Finally, if Abdullah does put up these numbers, he’ll trail only one person on Husker football’s long, distinguished career rushing yards list: 1983 Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier.
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