Hot Reads: The Versatile Mr. Abdullah

ABDULLAH ON THE HONOR ROLL >>> Taylor Martinez (offensive) and Brett Maher (specialist) were both honored as Big Ten Players of the week on Monday, but don’t forget about Ameer Abdullah. With 252 all-purpose yards — 70 on the ground, 142 kickoff return yards, 18 punt return yards and 22 yards receiving — Abdullah made the weekly Paul Hornung Award honor roll. The Hornung Award recognizes the most versatile single-game performances each week.

Abdullah is certainly that.

BUCKEYES DOWN A BACK >>> Ohio State’s starting running back Jordan Hall is doubtful for Saturday’s game after suffering a knee injury against Michigan State last week. Hall, a senior, missed the first two games of the season due to an offseason foot injury but had 192 yards combined in the Buckeyes’ third and fourth games of the season. He scored a touchdown against Michigan State last week before leaving the game in the first half.

Junior Carlos Hyde will be his replacement. Hyde has 158 yards rushing and two touchdowns through five games this season and Husker fans might remember him. Last year against Nebraska, he ran for 104 yards on eight carries, scoring two touchdowns.

QUICK STATISTICAL UPDATE >>> Perhaps you know by now that Nebraska is averaging 521.4 yards per game on offense, ranking 13th nationally in total offense. Here’s a more interesting stat: The Huskers are one of six teams in the country who are averaging more than seven yards per play, perhaps the best measure of offensive efficiency.

The five teams ahead of Nebraska (7.16 ypp) are: Florida State (8.13), Georgia (7.98), Oklahoma State (7.89), West Virginia (7.88), Baylor (7.36). That’s not bad company to keep.

THE RIGHT QUESTIONS >>> Speaking of offense, the best college football story I saw yesterday was this one about Oregon’s ability to adjust — and adjust quickly — from Bill Connelly of SB Nation. These two paragraphs in particularl are nearly flawless:

Soccer is, in essence, a sport of constant failure, more than even baseball. It is probably why a large portion of Americans will never enjoy it. Chances are, you will make a mess of almost all of your given scoring opportunities in a given game. Thinking of soccer possession in football terms, over the course of a 90-minute contest you might turn the ball over 17 times, punt 28 times, miss three field goals and score but a single touchdown. But the more soccer you watch, the more you see the goals coming. You begin to pretty clearly notice how a team begins to zero in on an eventual score with tighter, more purposeful possessions; suddenly, the team doesn’t lose possession as much, the passing penetrates the defense a little more, and a goal becomes nearly imminent.

Or, as a soccer announcer would put it, the team has begun to “ask the right questions.” This turn of phrase is one of my favorites, and when it comes to college football, no team does a better job of asking the right questions than the Oregon Ducks.