LINCOLN, Neb. - After coming off a loss to the No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes, Nebraska looks to regroup as they travel to Evanston, Illinois to take on Pat Fitzgerald’s Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday afternoon.
The Wildcats have been one of the surprise teams, not only in the conference but in the nation this year. Fitzgerald has already led Northwestern to six wins, with just one loss, but just making a bowl game is not what it used to be for Northwestern. The Wildcats have wins against teams from the SEC and the Big East, helping them receive votes in the AP poll. After a tough loss at Penn State two weeks ago, Northwestern stormed back to a 21-13 win in Minneapolis over Minnesota over the weekend.
TRUSTING THE PROCESS
Monday afternoon Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini took all the responsibility for the 63-38-blowout loss to the Buckeyes two weeks ago.
However, Pelini is never one to panic and knows that the “process” will work, and that they have the right personal to do it.
“I believe in my process, I’ve been around it long enough, I know the process works. Obviously I question it and turn over every rock and look under every leaf to see where we got off that process and see why what happened, happened.” said Pelini. “Some things you can put a finger on and some things you cant put a finger on and at the end of the day its not magical, it comes back down to preparation and execution.”
On Monday, Pelini was asked to give the definition of “the process.”
“Do what you have to do, do everything in your power in that particular day to be the best you possibly can be that day,” said the fifth-year head coach.
WELL-COACHED, HARD WORKING WILDCATS
A few years ago, just making a bowl game was all a Northwestern Wildcat fan could ask for. Times are changing now in Evanston, and the goal goes from make a bowl, to win the Legends Division. Pat Fitzgerald has brought Northwestern football back to life, and the many styles he throws at opponents still has defenses looking for answers. Different offensive set ups and speed on offense and defense will pose a big threat to the Husker defense.
“They’re a good defense, and their really well coached” said Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez. “They are going to play their hearts out.”
In a game where the Wildcats offense will be electric, the Huskers offense will have to match them point for point, but Pelini knows there is a deep group that is ready to handle the load.
“I feel good about Ameer, and I feel real good about Braylon, and also with what Imani (Cross) can bring,” said Pelini. “Trust me when I tell you that Rex (Burkhead) is a special player, when he’s hitting on all cylinders he’s going to get his touches.
Tim Marlowe, Abdullah, Martinez, and Pelini all acknowledged Northwestern is well coached and their speed could cause problems. The Husker defense has struggled against dual-threat quarterbacks in recent years and Kain Colter is sure to be the most used weapon for the Wildcats at quarterback, as well as wide receiver in this game.
* Marlowe has been cleared for contact this week and should play against Northwestern on Saturday according to Pelini.
* After getting some rest during the bye week, Nebraska senior running back Rex Burkhead should be ready to go on Saturday .
Bo Pelini Monday Presser:
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* Big Red Report publisher Josh Harvey contributed to this report *