The sophomore I-back reached the 1,000-yard rushing mark Saturday and will go into the regular-season finale at Iowa with 1,021 yards. Abdullah grew up in SEC country (Homewood, Ala.), but he’s starting to understand what Nebraska-Iowa means to Husker and Hawkeye folks.
Q: How did you celebrate reaching 1,000?
A: You know, 1,000 yards, it’s great, but the season’s not over. I want to go well into the 1,000s. I don’t want to just take a breath at 1,000. I want to be the better football player.
Q: There previously had been 31 1,000-yard rushing seasons by 23 NU players. How many could you name?
A: I would guess Ahman Green, Roy Helu and Rex (Burkhead). Johnny Rodgers, Mike Rozier ... but I know it keeps going (no on Rodgers, but a safe guess).
Q: How did you thank your linemen after the game Saturday?
A: I just put my arms around them and say, “You guys, y’all been with me,” especially when Rex went down, and really put their trust in me. No faith was shaken at all. They just came around me and said, “Hey, we’re going to keep you clean all year. Just keep running hard behind us and we’re going to do our best for you.” They’ve done much more than that. All praise to the linemen and also to the fullbacks.
Q: What do you expect from the Iowa defense on Friday?
A: I expect a hard-played game. It’s supposed to be a rivalry game, but I don’t know much about Nebraska-Iowa. But for me, I’m going to run hard and I’m going to expect them to come hard and try to stop the run. But if we take care of ourselves, we should have a good day.
Q: Are there problems presented by it being a short week?
A: We have to do everything a day earlier. We just have to be focused and have everybody locked in.
Q: What do you miss most about not being home for Thanksgiving?
A: Just being around all my family members. I have a pretty big family, so it’s just being around all the different personalities and different people. I really miss that. But I know they’re with me and they’re going to be watching me.