LINCOLN, Neb - If there’s one thing Nebraska is looking to do more than anything else this week at practice, it’s put Saturday’s blowout loss to Michigan in the rearview mirror.

Nebraska really has no choice, but to have a short memory as they prepare for a short week taking on Illinois on Friday night. Matt Rhule told reporters his team will show everyone who they are against the Illini -- something the players have taken to heart.

Defensively, Nebraksa is aiming for more sacks. After leading the nation in sacks in the first three games of the year, they haven't gotten to the quarterback in either of the last two games. Something Defensive Coordinator Tony White and lineman Nash Hutmacher hope to change.

“That starts with me, my play calling being aggressive, letting guys loose,” White said. “It comes back to also making sure their minds are right.. You got to get on the grass and play ball.”

“We just need to keep perfecting our craft and getting better every week,” Hutmacher said. “Coaches have been challenging us every week, knowing we’re a defense driven team, so, just have to keep perfecting our craft and being better every week.”

A notable change for the Blackshirts comes at the safety spot. After Deshon Singleton went down with a knee injury Saturday, it’s now Benkelman, NE. native Phalen Sanford to step into the role. As a senior who’s played a hefty amount of snaps on both defense and special teams, Sanford is leaning on his experience to help him in the starting role.

“Me being here for so long, I’ve gotten to work on my weaknesses for a long time,” Sanford said. “So I think that’s my biggest advantage, my experience.”

On the offensive side, coordinator Marcus Satterfield says quarterback Jeff Sims has been practice well, but is still not quite to 100% as he continues to nurse a high-ankle sprain. Meanwhile, Satterfield says he’s seen growth in Heinrich Haarberg. Despite Saturday’s loss, Haarberg threw for a season high 199 yards - just the second time he’s thrown for more yards then he’s rushed.

“He’s taking care of the football, doing what he can with his legs, and he’s getting more comfortable with the position and being out there,” Satterfield said.

Illinois’ rushing defense ranks fourteenth in the Big Ten and twelfth agains the pass. Haarberg broke down what he sees from the Illini defense.

“They lost some great players, but have kind of reloaded a little bit,” Haarberg said. “I think that D-Line is pretty physical. They’re going to try to match us to the best of their ability.”

Matt Rhule was adamant about this Friday being the game in which people really see the true team the Huskers are. Center Ben Scott and DB Phalen Sanford discussed what that means to them.

“We’ve got a chip on our shoulder… Going out like that on Saturday wasn’t a good feeling,” Scott said. “I think our team is fired up. We’re angry. I think we’re going to come out on Friday firing.”

“We’re in the process of finding out who’s one of us right now,” Sanford said. “We’ve had a bunch of really physical practices… All the guys know what happened last week wasn’t acceptable, so we’ve gotta change that.”

Nebraska and Illinois kick off at 7:00 p.m. central time on Friday (6:00 p.m. mountain time) with the game on FS1.