Honors & Awards
Abdullah averaged 130.0 rushing yards per game to rank second in the Big Ten and seventh nationally. In conference games, he was even better, averaging 137.9 yards per game to again rank second in the conference.
Abdullah was also Nebraska’s third-leading receiver with 26 receptions for 232 yards and two touchdowns. His all-around ability placed him first in the conference and 13th nationally in all-purpose yards per game, averaging 153.8 yards per game.
Abdullah averaged 6.0 yards per carry and carried the ball more than 20 times nine times in 2013, including each of the final six games. While showing the ability to carry a heavy load, Abdullah also provided a big-play threat in the running game. He had eight runs of 30 yards or more, ranking among the national leaders in that category.
Abdullah opened the year with 114 yards against Wyoming, including a career-long 62-yard run in the second quarter. He also ran for 114 yards and two touchdowns against Southern Miss. Abdullah was limited to 98 yards against UCLA, but accounted for 148 all-purpose yards in the contest. He closed non-conference play with 139 rushing yards and 185 all-purpose yards against South Dakota State.
He enjoyed a career day against Illinois, rushing for a career-high 225 yards and two touchdowns on just 20 carries, the most rushing yards for a Husker since 2010. Abdullah had three runs of 30 yards or more against the Fighting Illini, including a spectacular 43-yard TD run in the third quarter. He was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for his effort.
Abdullah surpassed the 2,000-yard career rushing mark at Purdue when he rushed 20 times for 126 yards and a touchdown. Abdullah had an excellent effort in a loss at Minnesota, rushing 19 times for 165 yards.
He ran 24 times for 127 yards against Northwestern to move past 1,000 rushing yards on the season. He was the first NU player to break the 1,000-yard mark in eight games since Ahman Green in 1997. Abdullah also caught three passes for 31 yards on the game-winning drive in the final seconds, including a 16-yard catch and run to convert a 4th-and-15 and keep NU’s hopes alive.
Abdullah rushed for 105 hard-fought yards on 27 carries in a 17-13 win at Michigan. He also caught a five-yard touchdown pass in the final minutes to provide the winning score. Abdullah rushed 22 times for 123 yards against Michigan State’s top-ranked rushing defense. He was the first runner to top 100 yards against the Spartans since he and Taylor Martinez both did it at MSU in 2012.
Abdullah posted his eighth straight 100-yard rushing game at Penn State with 25 carries for 147 yards, including a 50-yard run to set up a tying field goal in the fourth quarter. He closed the regular season with 23 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown against Iowa. Abdullah posted his 11th 100-yard game of the season in the Gator Bowl win over Georgia, rushing 27 times for 122 yards and a a touchdown against the Bulldog defense.
Abdullah ran for at least 100 yards in each of his first five starts, the first Nebraska player to accomplish that since 1994. He finished the year with six 100-yard rushing games. His 81.2 rushing yards per game were ninth in the Big Ten, and he ranked fourth in the conference in all-purpose yards per game at 134.6 yards per game. Abdullah earned second-team All-Big Ten honors from the league’s coaches for his effort as a sophomore.
Abdullah carried the ball more than 15 times in eight games, including 30 or more carries against both Arkansas State and Penn State. Out of the backfield, Abdullah caught 24 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged 21.2 yards on 17 kickoff returns to rank in the top 10 in the conference and 13.1 yards on 16 punt returns.
After Burkhead went down early in the Southern Miss contest, Abdullah took over as the lead back and rushed 15 times for 81 yards. He also caught four passes in the game, including his first career receiving touchdown.
Abdullah earned his first career start at UCLA and responded with 16 carries for 119 yards and two touchdowns. Abdullah rushed for a season-high 167 yards on 30 carries against Arkansas State, including a season-long 45-yard run. A week later, he had an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Abdullah produced one of the most prolific all-purpose games in school history against Wisconsin. He totaled 252 all-purpose yards, including five kickoff returns for 142 yards, highlighted by an 83-yard return in the first quarter. He also ran 10 times for 70 yards and had 22 receiving yards. Abdullah also had a big night in the return game at Ohio State with eight returns for 128 yards, and scored a pair of rushing touchdowns against the Buckeyes.
Abdullah helped key Nebraska’s six-game win streak in the second half of the regular season. He ran 19 times for 101 yards at Northwestern in a 29-28 win, then had 24 carries for 101 hard-fought yards in a 23-9 victory over Michigan in Lincoln, including 85 rushing yards after halftime.
Abdullah ran for 110 yards on 22 carries at Michigan State and caught a touchdown pass in the game. He was a workhorse in a comeback win against Penn State, carrying a career-high 31 times for 116 yards. Abdullah carried 18 times for 79 yards against Minnesota to move past 1,000 rushing yards.
With Burkhead returning to action for the final three games, Abdullah’s number of carries decreased, however he ran for a combined 127 yards on 39 carries in the final three games of the year to finish with 1,137 yards.
Before Nebraska (Homewood HS)
Abdullah was named the South region player of the year by the Birmingham News. He scored the winning TD in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic, and was selected to participate in the Offense-Defense All-American bowl, where he starred as a defensive back.
As a junior, Abdullah rushed for more than 1,000 yards and had 24 catches for more than 200 yards. Rivals.com ranked him as one of the top 20 "athlete" prospects in the country and one of the top 10 players in Alabama. He was also ranked as one of the nation’s top 60 running backs by Scout.com. Abdullah chose Nebraska after also visiting Tennessee and Vanderbilt, and he had a host of offers including USC, Texas A&M and South Carolina.
Abdullah was honored as a Nebraska Student-Athlete HERO Award winner in both 2012 and 2014. Abdullah is majoring in history, and he has been named to the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll three times, in addition to his selection to the 2013 Academic All-Big Ten team.
Receiving: Career: 65 catches, 616 yards, 6 TDs, long of 58 vs. McNeese State (2014)