AP: Nebraska vs Northwestern preview

Nebraska (5-1) visits Northwestern after three straight contests between the two where the outcome was just single digits.

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.

*** Posted by Josh Harvey ***

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