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LINCOLN, Neb. – Imani Cross ran for two short touchdowns after Heisman Trophy hopeful Ameer Abdullah left the game with a knee injury, and No. 17 Nebraska defeated Purdue 35-14 on Saturday to take sole possession of first place in the Big Ten West.
The Cornhuskers (8-1, 4-1, No. 15 CFP) are a half-game ahead of Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin after their third straight win. Purdue (3-6, 1-4) lost its third in a row.
Tommy Armstrong Jr. ran for 70 yards and a touchdown and passed for another score. Cross carried 20 times for 66 yards. Akeem Hunt led Purdue with 66 yards on 21 carries.
Abdullah, who came into the game third nationally in rushing at 156 yards a game, injured his left knee on the Huskers' second possession while recovering Armstrong's fumbled snap at the Purdue 1-yard line. Abdullah returned to carry one more time, losing 5 yards, and didn't return. The nature of his injury wasn't immediately known.
The senior has run for at least 200 yards in a nation-leading four games and has 1,250 for the season.