WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Ameer Abdullah ran for 126 yards and a touchdown to help Nebraska defeat Purdue 44-7 on Saturday.
Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez sat out with a turf toe injury. Tommy Armstrong Jr. started and completed just 6 of 18 passes for 43 yards with three interceptions. Ron Kellogg III stepped in and completed 10 of 13 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown.
Nebraska held Purdue to 216 yards, and the Boilermakers didn't score until the final minute of the game. Purdue ran for just 32 yards on 25 carries.
Nebraska scored on its first drive as Armstrong's 3-yard touchdown run put Nebraska ahead 7-0. The Huskers ran for 48 yards on the drive.
Halfway through the first quarter, LeRoy Alexander intercepted a pass by Etling and the Huskers took over on the Purdue 26. On Nebraska's next play, however, Armstrong lobbed an interception to Purdue's Frankie Williams in the end zone.
Kellogg replaced Armstrong at quarterback the following series and converted two third-and-long passes before Cross scored on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line, extending Nebraska's lead to 14-0.
Purdue was outgained 117-14 and held without a first down in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Nebraska cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste was ejected for targeting after leading with his helmet while making a play against Dalyn Dawkins. On the next play Randy Gregory recovered a Dawkins fumble, setting up a 28-yard touchdown run by Abdullah.
Trailing 21-0, Purdue went for it on fourth-and-3 from its 46 on its first possession of the third quarter, but Rob Henry's pass on a reverse was short.
Nebraska responded with another scoring drive on which Abdullah moved the chains with a tough run on fourth-and-1 and, later, Cross scored from 2 yards out..
Gregory sacked Etling in the end zone, one of five sacks by the Cornhuskers, to increase Nebraska's lead to 30-0.
Etling found Yancey for a 55-yard touchdown pass with 39 seconds remaining to finally get Purdue on the board.