He’s the quarterback of the defense, a senior linebacker who is one win from the championship he's craved. What does Will Compton have to say with NU so close to its goal? It's been a enjoyable late-season ride for the Huskers, but ...

"All that stuff won't mean anything unless we get the win on Saturday. Everything we've sacrificed and everything we've done from January up until this point, this is why we've done it. We're now in this position, so we have to take advantage of it.

"We have to go out there and take care of ourselves. We can't have a situation like last time, where we kind of hurt ourselves in the beginning of the game. We have to jump out on them first."

(About how the linebackers have made up for the departure of Lavonte David)

"You've always got to ask the most of yourself first. I don't think we've ever looked at it as filling somebody's shoes. But (instead), how are we going to get each other to up our game, to play well as a collective unit?"

(About playing this game in a dome instead of Lambeau Field or Soldier Field)

"Lambeau and Soldier Field already reminds me of the weather of last Friday. So I'd rather play in the dome."

(About the loss of Baker Steinkuhler)

"Hey, we still need him. That's something he knows. That's something we talked about. ... We need him on the sideline. We need him to be vocal for us. He's still a leader even if he's not wearing the pads for us. I'm going to miss him out there being with me. And I'm sure everybody else will. But we still need him this week — more than ever."

(On the lessons of past conference championship games)

"We've been there a couple of times. We've even tasted winning a championship because we ran out there the first time against Texas before we got that called back. So we've tasted the winning, gotten it taken away from us. We blew a 17-point lead, with the sidelines all great when you're up 17 points, and then you lose that lead and lose that game. So I know those feelings. I know our guys still know those feelings ... those feelings of being disappointed in ourselves with how we played. We have to do everything necessary to not be in those positions again. We have to get it done this year."

Reach Brian Christopherson at bchristopherson@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. You can follow him on Twitter @HuskerExtraBC.