Cross carries the load in Nebraska win

Nebraska called upon the services of junior running back Imani Cross in a big way on Saturday.

LINCOLN, Neb. - Since day one Nebraska junior running back Imani Cross has the mentality to give it his all when his number has been called.

It was called in a big way on Saturday afternoon.

Without the services of potential All-American running back Ameer Abdullah, Cross rushed 20 times against a Purdue rushing defense that was funneling everything inside. His 66 yards on the ground were tough yards, but enough for the Huskers to find the end zone twice when he had the ball in a 35-14 win.

“Obviously the situation was unfortunate for our offense,” said Cross. “Obviously Ameer is very explosive and a great player and he went down. That's why we practice all week and prepare, so the next guy can produce.

“I just reminded myself that this is not new. This is football. I've gotten carries before. Just because one person is not around, while I'm getting those carries doesn't make it any different. I just had to focus on the task at hand. I was happy we got the win today."

Cross’ work has been limited this season, but it’s the second time this year the Georgia native has taken 20+ carries in a game.

Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell was asked if he felt the Nebraska offense changed any once Abdullah departed from the game.

"No, I thought they did the same things, just listening to them on the head set I felt they were doing the same thing,” said Hazell. “They were attacking and a couple times the ball came out. The quarterback on the 4th-and-4, was a big play, we had an all out blitz on and we missed a tackle. Otherwise we stop them on that possession, that would have been big for us."

Cross wasn’t the only Nebraska running back who stepped up in Abdullah’s absence. Sophomore Terrell Newby rushed for 42 yards on nine carries.

Cross talked with reporters after the game.

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