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Wildcats to take pregame nap Saturday

Northwestern v Penn State

Northwestern v Penn State

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Updated: November 17, 2012 6:20AM

At the start of Northwestern’s 22-13 victory Sept. 15 against Boston College at Ryan Field — a game that began at 2:30 p.m. — coach Pat Fitzgerald noticed his team was very sluggish.

So Fitzgerald got together with his leadership council to discuss his concerns about the Wildcats’ home game Saturday against Nebraska, which also starts at 2:30.

The conclusion: Players need to take a nap before the game, which will be televised on Ch. 7.

‘‘We’re going to get them up early on Saturday,’’ Fitzgerald said. ‘‘We have a full team breakfast, and then on the [agenda] — big and bold — it says ‘TEAM NAP.’ And underneath it says ‘mandatory.’

‘‘So I’m just a master motivator, let me tell you. Just unbelievable. Does [Ch. 7] at 2:30 matter? No, our nap matters.’’

Offensive jack-of-all-trades Kain Colter is one of the big proponents of the scheduled nap.

‘‘We’ll go back up to the hotel room, get a little hour or two nap in, come down refreshed and get ready to kick some butt,’’ Colter said.

Offensive lineman Brian Mulroe put to rest any doubt that the game, no matter how significant, would prevent Colter from getting his rest.

‘‘Kain can sleep anywhere,’’ Mulroe said.

Friendly rivalry

Colter grew up playing youth football alongside Nebraska wide receiver Kenny Bell in Colorado before the two went to rival high schools.

While in high school, Colter actually had the opportunity to play defense against his childhood friend. He likely won’t get that opportunity Saturday.

‘‘I don’t think I ever guarded him one-on-one in that game, but I played defense when he played offense,’’ Colter said.

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