LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Ameer Abdullah ran for 225 yards and three touchdowns and set a school record with 341 all-purpose yards, leading No. 16 Nebraska to a 42-24 victory over Rutgers on Saturday.
Abdullah surpassed 200 yards rushing for a nation-leading fourth time this season and fifth time in his career. He broke Roy Helu Jr.'s record of 321 all-purpose yards with his 23-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The Cornhuskers (7-1, 3-1) reached the halfway point of conference play tied with Minnesota for first in the West Division.
Big Ten newcomer Rutgers lost 56-17 at Ohio State a week ago and has been outscored 98-41 in its past two games.
The Scarlet Knights (5-3, 1-3) lost quarterback Gary Nova on the second-to-last play of the first half. Nova held his right knee after Maliek Collins brought him down as he got rid of the ball. Chris Laviano played the rest of the game.
Abdullah ran for 149 yards and two long touchdowns in the first half. He hit the right corner hard, put a move on safety Lorenzo Waters and continued on for a 53-yard TD. On the next series, Abdullah went left for 48 yards to put the Huskers in front 21-7.
Abdullah broke a 49-yard run on the first play of the second half to start a series that ended with Tommy Armstrong Jr.'s short TD pass to Sam Cotton. After Kyle Federico's 41-yard field goal for Rutgers, Abdullah ran back the kickoff 76 yards to set up a short scoring drive.
Abdullah moved from fourth to second on the Big Ten's career all-purpose yards list. His 6,604 yards are 825 behind the 7,429 by Wisconsin's Ron Dayne.
Abdullah, who came in as the nation's third-leading rusher at 146.2 yards a game, averaged 11.8 yards on his 19 carries.
Armstrong Jr. was 14 of 22 for 163 yards and two TDs, but was intercepted once and lost a fumble. Nova completed 8 of 19 passes for 156 yards, and Laviano was 4 of 7 for 49 yards and ran five times for a team-high 54 yards.
Kenny Bell made six catches for 63 yards and became Nebraska's career leader in receptions with 167.
The Knights generated 160 yards in the first quarter, with 71 coming on Leone Carroo's 71-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown. Nebraska's front four asserted themselves after that. The Huskers forced two straight three-and-outs and Randy Gregory blocked Federico's 50-yard field-goal attempt.
Desmon Peoples and Robert Martin had short touchdown runs for the Knights after the Huskers had broken the game open.
Rutgers, which lost its eighth straight against a Top 25 opponent, played the first half without wide receivers Janarion Grant and Andre Patton, who were suspended for violating team rules.