The Nebraska Cornhuskers may be without running back Rex Burkhead this Saturday when they take on the Michigan Wolverines. Burkhead left this past Saturday’s game against the Northwestern Wildcats in the first quarter after aggravating a left knee injury for the second time in three weeks. He originally sprained his ACL in the Cornhuskers opening game on Sept. 1 and subsequently missed the next two games.
It looked like Burkhead was out of the woods as he had been playing very well since returning, until he re-aggravated his knee on Oct. 6 against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini indicated this most recent flare up was not as bad as the one against the Buckeyes, but he is still considering resting Burkhead for a game. He went on to say that the running back is day to day and his condition has improved slightly since Saturday. Pelini said he will also take input from Burkhead himself on if he feels good enough to play.
So far this season Burkhead has rushed for 392 yards and three touchdowns on 43 carries. His backup, Ameer Abdullah, has done an excellent job of filling in as he leads the Cornhuskers in rushing with 514 yards and seven touchdowns on 86 carries.
The test will be tough either way against #22 ranked Michigan. After starting the year 2-2, the Wolverines have posted three straight wins where they outscored opponents 101-23 over that span. Stopping the run will be paramount for the Cornhuskers as Michigan boasts one of the best rushing attacks in the nation averaging over 220 yards per game on the ground. Conversely, Nebraska averages 279 yards rushing per game, which is good enough for sixth in the country. If Burkhead can’t go, then Nebraska will certainly take a hit in that area and force Taylor Martinez to air it out a little more.
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