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Ameer Abdullah held to 45 yards in Huskers' loss to MSU

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Mike Carter/Associated Press
Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah struggled to find running lanes against Michigan State's stout defense.

Nebraska tailback Ameer Abdullah's streak of 200-yard games ended at two Saturday as Michigan State barely held off the Huskers, 27-22.


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Abdullah had rushed for 437 yards in his past two games, but managed just 45 (on 24 carries) against Michigan State's tough, aggressive defense. He led the nation with 833 rushing yards coming into the game. Abdullah did score twice, though, giving him 10 rushing TDs this season.

Nebraska had been the last unbeaten Big Ten team.

Michigan State made it a priority to slow the run and it worked, as the Huskers -- who came in averaging 354.8 rushing yards per game -- finished with just 47 yards on 37 carries. But after building a 27-3 lead late in the third quarter, the Spartans had to hold off a furious Nebraska rally. The Huskers scored three times in a bit more than nine minutes in the fourth quarter, including twice in a span of 48 seconds. They also moved the ball to Michigan State's 37 before sophomore Tommy Armstrong Jr. -- who passed for a career-high 273 yards -- threw his second interception of the game at the Spartans' 17.

Abdullah's two scores came on runs of 1 and 2 yards; his 10 rushing TDs are one more than he had all of last season. And despite his low yardage total against the Spartans, he still has 878 yards through six games; that's 146.3 per game, which puts him on a pace for 1,756 yards. He has had three 200-yard games this season.

He also has 3,855 career rushing yards, putting him just 26 yards away from passing Ahman Green and moving into second on the school's all-time list.

Michigan State, which came in ranked fifth nationally in rush defense (80.8 yards per game), had five sacks. Senior middle linebacker Taiwan Jones led the defensive effort with 10 tackles, which tied a career high; he also had one of the sacks. Jones came in with just 11 tackles on the season.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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