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Northwestern, Nebraska won’t forget last year

Updated: October 15, 2012 8:58PM

Kain Colter remembers last season’s meeting with Nebraska in Lincoln as clearly as any game.

``We really wanted that one to get back on track,’’ the Northwestern junior quarterback said, the Wildcats struggling then at 3-5 as they prepared for the first meeting with a new Big Ten member.

No game might have been bigger for the Wildcats last season, their 28-25 upset of the then-No. 9 Cornhuskers on the road helping right the ship toward its fourth bowl appearance under coach Pat Fitzgerald.

``I remember just walking off the field, seeing a sea of red and we were able to silence the crowd,’’ he said. ``I remember just the feeling in the locker room afterward.’’

It’s clear the Cornhuskers and their fans remember that game, too, as they prepare for a Saturday trip to Evanston for the rematch.

The game already is a sellout (2:30 p.m., ESPN2, 720 AM), not just because NU fans are feeling what the players and Fitzgerald say is ``the buzz’’ of their 6-1 squad.

Nebraska followers had the game circled early, and the Omaha World Herald plans to send 10 reporters to cover the game.

``They’ll be looking for revenge because we went there last year and got the job done,’’ senior offensive lineman Brian Mulroe said.

The Cornhuskers (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten) are still a formidable opponent, but it is the Wildcats (6-1, 2-1) who already are bowl eligible again with five games left in the season. Northwestern is the first Big Ten school with that distinction.

``We’re playing a very tough opponent,’’ Fitzgerald said, with Nebraska averaging a Big Ten-best 292 yards per game. But the Wildcats boast the conference’s second best rush defense.

The Cornhuskers are coming off a bye week, the third time the Wildcats will face a rested opponent. Four of their eight conference meetings will be against teams coming off bye weeks.

``It is what it is,’’ Fitzgerald said. ``That’s out of our control. We have two weeks until our bye. I’ll drive them as hard as I can until then and then we’ll rest.’’

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