LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska has been winning despite the error of its ways. The 18th-ranked Cornhuskers don’t want to tempt fate Saturday against a Penn State team that hasn’t lost a Big Ten road game this season.
The Huskers (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) figure they need to play as clean a game as possible against the Nittany Lions (6-3, 4-1) to maintain the inside track to the Legends Division title.
Nebraska has committed 23 turnovers, tied for sixth most in the Bowl Subdivision. Only one team (Memphis) has lost more fumbles than the Huskers’ 14.
Quarterback Taylor Martinez’s 13 turnovers are most in the Big Ten.
The Huskers’ minus-1 turnover margin is last in the Big Ten and 106th in the nation. Of 14 other teams with the same or worse margin, only Oklahoma State has a winning record.
“I think that it is the No. 1 thing that equates to winning and losing,” Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said. “We’ve been fortunate to overcome that a couple times over the past few weeks, but percentages show you’re not going to be able to overcome that a lot.”
The Huskers, despite their missteps, are riding the most diverse and productive offense in the conference.
“A lot of people say that maybe if (we) were in the position last year that the outcome wouldn’t have been the same, and I believe in that,” running back Ameer Abdullah said. “Just the poise and the confidence in our team is much higher and the character on our team, the standard that we hold each other to, is much higher than it was last year.”