Ameer Abdullah still in Heisman race

Ameer Abdullah's Heisman chances might have taken a major blow on Saturday, but the senior can rebound.

LINCOLN, Neb. - Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah’s Heisman chances didn’t completely fade away on Saturday against Michigan State, but they are in critical condition after the Huskers’ 27-22 loss.

The nation’s leading rusher coming into the contest, Abdullah only managed to gain 45 yards on 24 carries, while finding the end zone twice. The touchdowns were nice to add to his total, but his long from scrimmage was only nine yards.

While Abdullah struggled, past Heisman winners have been able to overcome bad performances, especially early in the season, to rebound.

In 2012, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel went 29-of-56 for three interceptions and no touchdowns in a loss to LSU. Known as a rushing threat, he only managed 27 yards on 17 carries.

Alabama sophomore running back Mark Ingram only rushed for 30 yards on 15 carries against Auburn in 2009. In the same season, Ingram ran for only 50 yards on 17 carries against Arkansas (two touchdowns).

In 2006, Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith threw for just 108 yards against a 2-7 Illinois squad. The Buckeyes, rated No. 1 in the country, won 17-10. He also threw two interceptions in that game.

Before boarding the bus on Saturday night, Abdullah took responsibility for the lack of running game against the Spartans. While the offensive line did not look good to the naked eye, Abdullah felt the front-five got good push.

“I didn’t hit the creases when I needed to, that’s one me, but we are going to go back to the drawing board and move on,” said Abdullah.

The senior still leads the country in rushing yards by four yards with 878 yards, in front of Pittsburgh’s James Conner.

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