* Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah is the nation’s No. 1 leader in rushing yards this season, with fellow Big Ten running backs Tevin Coleman (Indiana) and Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin) nipping at his heels.
Injury report via Huskers.com:
* After being limited this week in practice, kicker Mauro Bondi (collarbone) has been ruled out this week.
* Tight end Cethan Carter (undisclose) should resume running next week and will likely be back for Wisconsin in two weeks.
* Linebacker/defensive end Marcus Newby will not travel this with an undisclosed injury.
LINCOLN, Neb. - After finishing November 4-0 in 2012, the Nebraska Cornhuskers went 3-2 last season, slipping out of the Big Ten Championship race.
An undefeated record in November will get the Huskers to Indy in 2014. One loss might do it, but they will need some help. Another two-loss month? Nebraska will be watching from home.
“It’s how you prepare and if you’re going to be able to stay focused in for the long haul, whether you get tired, physically mentally or whatever it may be,” said Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini this week. “You have to put your foot on the gas pedal at this time of year. That’s the only way it works. Those are the teams that are going to be standing at the end.”
Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini is 19-6 in November during his time with the Huskers. The 2012 season wasn’t his only undefeated November. In 2009, 5-3 coming into the month, the Huskers rattled off four wins in November to make the Big 12 Championship game.
“You’re not going to be given anything. You have to go take it. That isn’t just on Saturday. That means you’ve got to prepare the right way during the week. You’ve got to be focused enough and disciplined enough to bring it to the practice field every day. Because that’s where games are won or lost. How you prepare.”
While it might be easy for fans and even the Nebraska players to look forward to a bye week and a road game with Wisconsin down the road, Purdue will enter Memorial Stadium looking for program defining win under a second year staff.
“When you look across the country, there are head scratchers every week. Sometimes people lose games they shouldn’t lose, and sometimes they almost do,” said Pelini. “It’s not easy. You have to play this game on edge. You have to prepare on edge. You’ve got to have respect for the game because you have to realize how quickly a game can turn.
“You have to play with that sense of urgency every time. That’s how you prepare yourself to be the best you can possibly be. And it takes an across the board mentality in order to get that done.”
Bo Pelini Thursday Purdue preview (10-30-14)
Harvey’s keys to a Nebraska victory:
* Keeping the Purdue running backs speed in check. The Boilermakers like to get Akeem Hunt and Raheem Mostert into space, by spreading out their offensive attack. Both are speedy backs and both have the ability to catch the ball on the flat and hurt a covering linebacker.
* Time to run the football - again. Purdue’s run defense has had it’s ups and downs this season and is only No. 81 in stopping the run. This could be another 200-yard performance for Abdullah. That being said, the Boilermakers aren’t very good in the air as well.
* Adjust quickly. Purdue plays a favor of the week style defense and coming out of a bye, who knows what type of things they might throw at Nebraska. Both the Nebraska offense/defense are going to have to adjust quickly. They have more talent than Purdue, so even if they don’t necessarily see something they are ready for, it can’t be an excuse.
Big Red Report score predictions:
Josh Harvey, Scout.com: Nebraska: 45, Purdue: 24
Bryan Munson, BRR staff: Nebraska: 41, Purdue: 21
Matt Svoboda, BRR contributor: Nebraska: 45, Purdue: 17
Beth Long, Scout.com: Nebraska: 42, Purdue: 10
Brandon Huffman, Scout.com: Nebraska: 40, Purdue: 17
CFN News (Scout.com): Nebraska: 40, Purdue: 24