An Ohio native and eventual Buckeye like Griffin, Pelini knows the career the eventual NFL first-round pick had. It’s why Pelini feels last Saturday’s performance by Ameer Abdullah was so special. Abdullah passed Griffin on the career all-purpose yards in Big Ten history list against Rutgers. Abdullah now sits in second, behind former Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne, another eventual Heisman winner.
”Passing a guy like what Archie was able to do. That caught my attention obviously because I was thinking about calling Archie up and saying, ‘see, you weren’t as good as you thought you were.’ No, Archie is a great guy. But obviously growing up in Ohio, it sure caught my attention,” said Pelini.
“I am happy for him. It’s interesting, Ameer is not caught up in all of that stuff right now. But hopefully he’ll finish out this year the way he wants to finish it out individually and team-wise. He’ll be able to look back on this with a lot of pride with the things he’s been able to accomplish. It’s pretty special.”
Heading into the weekend, Bovado ranks Abdullah’s Heisman chances at 12/1. Behind Oregon’s Marcus Mariota (1/1), Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott (3/1), and Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon (7/1). Despite the odds, Abdullah isn’t showing up on everyone’s Heisman list at this point.
“Does it bug me? Yeah, it does a little bit. I could talk for half an hour on that whole situation and how that goes,” said Pelini. “That’s not just this year, but year after year. I take that with a little bit of a grain of salt. I mean just watch the film. That’s all you’ve got to do.”
Abdullah has rushed for 1,249 yards this season, tops in the NCAA. He’s also got 19 combined touchdowns on the year.