By Randy York
Nebraska's first football recruit in 10 years from the state of Ohio is going to a stadium he's been to before, and make no mistake, junior wide receiver Tim Marlowe has a Bo Pelini-like focus on the challenge the Huskers face. A graduate of the same Cardinal Mooney High School that Nebraska's head coach and both coordinators graduated from, Marlowe is expecting "a very hostile crowd" and he says "I'm excited for that. I like playing on the road, and I think a lot of the guys on the team do as well. We really rally together and take an us-versus-the world feel to it. It's going to be hostile, but it's going to be fun. It's going to be a great game."
Even though Marlowe made those statements before national television trucks pulled into State College, Pa., Tuesday to focus on news beyond football, Marlowe knows Nebraska has too much at stake to be distracted. He can't wait to play in Beaver Stadium against what he calls a traditional defensive powerhouse. "They're great tacklers, and they're very physical," he said. "They don't let very many big plays loose. They wrap up well, and all 11 guys are flying to the ball. It's going to be a challenge for our offense, and I'm excited."
Because of more consistent practices, Marlowe has replaced Jamal Turner as a starting wide receiver, but Pelini said Monday that Turner was sick last week and the coaches' confidence in his explosive ability has not waned. "You'll see him in there a lot (Saturday)," Pelini said. "We have a lot of confidence in him, and Timmy Marlowe is playing good football, so that's taking away some of the snaps for Jamal. He (Turner) just has to keep growing. You've got to remember he was a high school quarterback, so he has a lot to learn. He's a talented kid and still has a big learning curve ahead of him."
Meanwhile, Marlowe, who caught a career-first 15-yard touchdown pass from Taylor Martinez in the third quarter to pull Nebraska within 14-10 of Northwestern last Saturday, keeps doing what he does well. "He's running good routes and catching the football," Pelini said. "He's blocked well on the perimeter and done a lot of good things." Insisting that "nothing in life ever comes easy," Marlowe has waited patiently for his chance in the spotlight. In a 2008 redshirt season, he was Nebraska's Offensive Scout Team MVP. In 2009 and 2010, he played in all 28 games, using his explosive speed and toughness returning kickoffs. He's found a place in the Huskers' new-look offense, and he's ready to turn last weekend's wake-up call into this weekend's win. Expect the unexpected. "That's the way the Big Ten is," Marlowe said. "There are 12 good teams and any certain week, anyone can get knocked off. You always have to be ready, and I think we learned our lesson (against Northwestern)."
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