Nebraska ready for Northwestern after blowout loss

Associated Press Modified: October 19, 2012 at 10:46 am •  Published: October 19, 2012

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Rocked by a blowout loss, Nebraska players decided to hold a team meeting to make sure they were still together and knew what they needed to do.

Coach Bo Pelini searched for answers, too.

Now, after a week off, the Cornhuskers are ready to face Northwestern on Saturday and put aside that brutal beating by Ohio State.

"There comes a point where the men of the team need to come together and say, 'All right, this is how things need to be done,'" receiver Kenny Bell said. "When you hear a coach say it every day for 10, 11, 12 months, it just starts to become noise. It's hard to focus on what they're saying."

The Cornhuskers insist they're still together, that their minds are in the right spot, and that they're ready to move on from that 63-38 pounding at Ohio State two weeks ago.

Pelini is, too. He threw down the gauntlet and challenged his team to win its remaining six games after the Cornhuskers got shredded by the Buckeyes. One thing he didn't do — question his methods.

"I believe in my process and I've been coaching long enough that I know what I'm trying to do," Pelini said. "I know that the process works. Obviously I question and I turn over every leaf. I turn over every rock to find out where we got off of that process and why what happened happened. There's a lot that goes into it."

Winning out would assure Nebraska (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten) the Legends Division title and a spot in the conference championship game, but by no means is that a small task. The Cornhuskers still have to face Michigan and Michigan State, and beating Northwestern (6-1, 2-1) is no sure thing.

The Wildcats knocked off Nebraska 28-25 in Lincoln last year, and they come into this one after Venric Mark ran for 182 yards in a win over Minnesota last week that helped shake off a loss at Penn State.

"We put ourselves in a good situation to where we control our own destiny," Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter said. "Obviously, Nebraska's a great contender on our side of the division so we're looking forward to this one. We really need this one and all the ones coming up."

Nebraska had time to think about what went wrong against Ohio State.

The Cornhuskers gave up the fourth-most points in program history and most in Pelini's five years. There were missed tackles and missed assignments in another awful defensive effort just one month after Nebraska gave up its second-most yards ever (653) in a 36-30 loss at UCLA.

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