Measure Mohamed Barry's impact in stats if you like, or measure it in the way he ripped around the field during and after plays against Colorado.

Cut loose from last season's passive defensive scheme, locked into a starting role and instructed to attack, Barry played with the emotion of a man with a whole load of pent-up frustration.

"I felt like the energy I felt, I loved that. I ran to the ball. That’s the kind of player I am. I’m an effort guy," Barry said this week. "Going to the ball, delivering blows and inflicting pain. That’s the kind of player I am. To see that happen was great."

Barry's energy was visible, both in his play, and in his almost visceral reactions to all the times the Blackshirts came up with a stop. It was contagious, too. Barry was at the top of Nebraska's tackle chart that day, followed by three more linebackers.

He finished with a career-high 12 stops, four solo, one tackle for loss and a quarterback hurry. His previous high of eight tackles came in one of a string of forgettable defensive performances to end 2017 — a 56-14 home loss to Ohio State that marked the second consecutive year NU didn't force the Buckeyes to punt.

"There’s no last year. For me, I don’t think about last year. As you can see, we’re not the same team from last year. Last year doesn’t apply to this year," Barry said. "I know we’re going to go into this game ready to bring it to them. It’s going to speak for itself."

The Nebraska coaching staff's mantra of "desire to excel with no fear of failure" seems to have taken hold in Barry, and manifested itself in the coaching of Barrett Ruud, the Husker great who coaches NU's inside linebackers.

"You can tell he played football at a high level. He understands the game and he understands how it feels to be on the field and different things you’re going to see," Barry said of his position coach. "As great of a player as he was, he’s a great coach, also. I have total respect for him and everything he’s accomplished and how he has helped me up my game also. It feels great to earn his respect, and to get that Blackshirt from him is a great feeling."

Barry was one of seven defensive players to earn Blackshirts after Saturday's game, four of them linebackers. 

"It means a lot to get it from my position coach, Coach Ruud, all-time tackles leader, great player, Blackshirt," Barry said. "I know it means a lot to us because I know it means a lot to him. It was a great feeling."

It's skewed, of course, by Nebraska only playing one game. But Barry's 12 tackles per contest leads the Big Ten.

"Mo loves football. He loves everything about it. He likes the cold tub, he likes meetings, he likes the weight room, he likes practicing," Ruud said. "So he’s a guy that’s contagious to be around, and he just showed it on gameday. Gameday’s the easy day. If you do everything during the week right, gameday takes care of itself.

"I thought he played really well, played really hard. But that’s the standard. That’s what we expect out of them."

Reach the writer at 402-473-7436 or On Twitter @HuskerExtraCB.