Editor's note: Periodically from now until the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30th, we will break down Nebraska, position by position, as the two teams head for its collision-course rematch in San Diego.
** Starters: Middle linebacker is Will Compton. Weakside (outside) linebacker is Lavonte David.
** Top reserve: MLB Eric Martin.
** Key statistics in 2010: David has 145 tackles (four short of Nebraska single-season mark), including 14 for loss, and also has 10 pass breakups and seven quarterback hurries. Martin had 24 tackles, including team-high six stops against the UW on Sept. 18.
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** Scouting report: If not for the emergence of David, a junior-college transfer, first-year starter and All-American selection, this unit would have severely underachieved. Compton has been in and out of the lineup with injuries, and Martin was hit with a one-game suspension for a violent helmet-to-helmet hit against Oklahoma State.
** Quoteworthy: "(David) just puts it on film every week. He just makes plays, and he makes plays all day. I think he’s missed two tackles all year." – Mike Ekeler, Nebraska linebackers coach.