Once a team whose goal was to just make the post-season, Pat Fitzgerald's Wildcats are now a legitimate threat to win the Legends Division, starting the season 6-1 (1-1), which includes wins against schools from the Big East and the SEC. The Huskers will look to bounce back against Northwestern, after a tough loss in Columbus last week.
PUTTING A TOUGH LOSS BEHIND THEM
The Huskers come into this week's game, after a 63-38 loss to Ohio State in Columbus two weekends ago. Despite the slip up, Nebraska's goal is still within reach.
"We gotta stay optimistic, tough loss against Ohio State but we got to move on", said senior running back Rex Burkhead. "We still have everything we want to accomplish out there and get into the Big Ten Championship, we've just to stay focused."
"We've always had a sense of urgency, but its time to get it going", said Burkhead. "We didn't have a great game (last year), they came out and took it to us right away, it's a new year but they're a great team and were going to have to be ready for them."
The senior plans to play this weekend (MCL) and says he plans to slowly work back into the rotation this week in practice.
"I'm feeling good," said Burkhead. "I don't want to rush it. It was nice to have the bye week to get a couple extra days of recovery."
COLTER AND BELL GO WAY BACK
Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter and Nebraska wide receiver Kenny Bell go back to before football was apart of their lives. Growing up in the same neighborhood, Colter and Bell developed a friendship that goes way beyond football.
"It started out when we started hanging out the summer before kindergarten", said Bell. "We actually always lived in the same neighborhood, we lived in a neighborhood called Heatherwood. We went to the same elementary school, and then at the same time we both moved to Erie."
But when high school came around, Bell and Colter, once inseparable, finally were forced to split.
"I feel weird being a grown man saying that another man is my best friend, but he is definitely one of my best friends from back home", said Bell. "We wanted to go to the same college, but it just so happened that he was originally committed to Stanford, and I wasn't going to go to Stanford, I didn't have an offer."
Soon after receiving his offer from Stanford, The Cardinal would back out. Despite a Nebraska offer, Colter would end up at Northwestern. Saturday will be the fourth time that the two have faced each other. Once last year and twice in high school.
GREAT RUN VS GREAT RUN DEFENSE
Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck's offense has been one of the best in the nation this year, especially the run. The Huskers are 5th in rushing offense, averaging 292 yards per game. And despite having an attack of Martinez, Burkhead, Abdullah, Heard and Cross, Beck knows that the Huskers will have their hands full.
"They are a well-coached and very disciplined football team." Beck said, "They do a good job stopping the run, so we will have our hands full. "We are a good running football team, not to say we aren't a good passing team. We are just trying to establish positive yards on first down."
It will be a great battle between two very good forces, and Beck's offense may have the advantage coming out of the bye week.
"I think that it has been good for the kids physically and mentally," said the offensive coordinator.
Big Red Report will post practice videos later on Monday night
- Josh Harvey -