Abdullah gives 100 percent, though not 100 percent
MADISON, Wis. — Nebraska l-back Ameer Abdullah wasn't himself Saturday in his return from a sprained MCL to his left knee, and the yards were hard to come by for the senior.
But nobody was surprised by his effort in the 59-24 loss to Wisconsin.
"That's just the kind of guy Ameer is," NU offensive guard Jake Cotton said. "Ameer's going to play if he can play, and if he can help the team, he'll help the team."
Abdullah ran for 69 yards on 18 carries, and lost a fumble. He also had a 26-yard reception on a screen pass.
"Ameer's not 100 percent, but he was a warrior out there," Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said.
Good start, bad finish
Nebraska got off to a decent start offensively, with 93 yards on its first four possessions and 17 points with the help of good field position.
Cotton had a hard time trying to explain why it seemed to fall apart.
"Nobody was sitting down on the sideline after they started scoring and putting our heads down," he said. "We started every drive saying, 'Let's go attack,' and, 'Let's just go play. Let's get hats on people.'
"We didn't execute, but as far as change in motivation, change in approach ... I didn't see it."
NU managed one first down on its next three series as Wisconsin was in the process of rattling off 21 straight points. And it never put anything together again as it managed 180 total yards.
"They lost something," NU offensive coordinator Tim Beck said. "Mojo ... I don't know what you want to call it. The intensity level, the drive, somewhere along the game they didn't have the same crispness that we did early."
The outing dropped Nebraska from No. 17 nationally in total offense (490.6 yards per game) to No. 33 (459.5).
Loss drops Huskers in rankings
The loss at Wisconsin led to tumbles Sunday in both major college polls for Nebraska.
The Huskers went from No. 11 to No. 21 in the AP Top 25, slipping back to the spot they held immediately after the 27-22 loss to Michigan State on Oct. 4. Wisconsin moved up from No. 22 to No. 14 in the AP poll.
Nebraska also fell from No. 11 to No. 19 in the coaches poll.
Bell records another record
Kenny Bell owns two of the three major Nebraska receiving records after Saturday.
The senior has 2,492 career receiving yards after picking up 14 on two receptions at Wisconsin, becoming the school's all-time leader on a 12-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter. Bell passed Johnny Rodgers, who had 2,479 receiving yards from 1970 to '72.