Bring The Noise

The Wildcats are facing a difficult test on Saturday as they face the ninth-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers in front of another sellout crowd at Memorial Stadium. Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald is preparing his team to face a tough opponent inside a loud stadium.

When Treyvon Green made his first recruiting visit at Memorial Stadium back in 2009, he realized what makes Nebraska fans different than others.

"Just the fans, how much they scream," Green said. "I've never seen fans go so crazy over a football game."

High school recruits leave a visit in Lincoln being awed of how the fans know their name. The Nebraska coaches roll out the red carpet for each prospect that comes to campus.

Green will make his first return to Lincoln on Saturday. This time, he won't be greeted as kindly.

Saturday marks Northwestern's first Big Ten matchup with Nebraska, and playing in front of a raucous crowd in Memorial Stadium will add to the challenge. Pat Fitzgerald knows his Wildcats have their hands full with the ninth-ranked Cornhuskers.

"They've been a great program for a number of years, and they have great coaches now, great players now, and some of the best fans in the country," said NU head coach Pat Fitzgerald. "It's going to be a great challenge"

In the summer of 2010, Nebraska opted to ditch the Big 12 conference and make the Big Ten an even stronger collection as its twelfth school. With the addition of the Huskers, the Big Ten now can boast to claim four of college football's all-time most successful programs.

"It's one of the most storied programs, historically, one of the most successful programs and when you can add that kind of brand recognition, it just makes the conference stronger," said Fitzgerald. "As the head football coach at Northwestern, I was really hoping they were going to add Carl Sandburg High School."

Northwestern will play in front of the 317th consecutive sellout inside Memorial Stadium. However, this won't be the first time the Wildcats face a hostile environment. Fitzgerald remains confident in his team's preparations.

"We've played in a bunch of hostile environments and I think our plan on the road has been pretty good," Fitzgerald said. "When I think back to our performances, maybe this year but more so over time, I think our plan has been pretty solid. It's going to take our best week of preparation; it always comes down to that."

This game serves as a must-win for the Wildcats' bowl hopes. Facing a top-ten team won't make the task any easier. If Northwestern wants to upset the Huskers, they will need a strong performance.

"All-Big-Ten level players need to play All-Big-Ten on Saturday," said Fitzgerald. "We can't go out there and not play well and not coach our guys well and expect to win. It's going to take great effort."


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