In his last two games, the 5-foot-11, 220-pound Anderson, a redshirt junior, had two sacks among his six tackles in a win that broke Michigan's 19-game home winning streak, and recorded eight tackles in last week's loss to Michigan State.
"I think the defense has been playing great the last couple of games just because there hasn't been a bunch of movement," Anderson said Tuesday night. "At the beginning of the year, you didn't know, the lineup changed every week. But the linebackers have been set the last three weeks, so it improved the chemistry and everybody is focused more."
Entering the Penn State game, Anderson is fourth on the team in tackles with 42 in nine games, three of them starts. He missed the Illinois game with an ankle injury.
Anderson has walked a long road to get to where he is today, starting with the Frankford Chargers in his youth football days in his old neighborhood. He played mostly at fullback in high school but thrived at Riverside (Calif.) City College as a linebacker.
"No, I don't miss being a running back," he said. "I'd rather give the hit than receive it."
He chose Nebraska over Texas Tech, Mississippi State and Kentucky because "I liked the chemistry, the coaches, the whole atmosphere, the 90,000 fans every game," he said.
However, three days before his first collegiate start last season, he felt something pop in his right knee. He went on to play that game against Arkansas State in pain, and an MRI was ordered that revealed the torn ACL.
But he worked hard in his rehabilitation and came back last spring. He studied a lot of film during his idle days learning the entire defense and what his responsibilities were at his position.
Now he is playing with confidence and aiding the improved play of Nebraska's "Blackshirts" defense. The unit allowed an average of 463.8 total yards in its four nonconference games earlier this season, but only 313.3 yards per contest in Big Ten play.
"I've been playing more and getting the defenses down better and just executing my assignments better," Anderson said. "I think everything has been going great. I'm feeling more comfortable. The coaches have confidence in me right now and it feels great."