The Nebraska Huskers (1-1) would be excused if they were having a tough time getting over last week’s loss. Whenever a team loses after leading by 17 points, it can be tough to bounce back, especially when it’s against rival Colorado (2-0).
According to head coach Scott Frost and players, that was not the case.
“Nobody is more disappointed [in the team’s performance] than the coaches and the players, but I loved how the guys responded today,” Frost said.
Senior linebacker Mohamed Barry said as a captain, he responded to the loss bluntly.
“We can’t cry about it, we can’t sap about it, it’s on to the next one,” Barry said. “There’s a lot that we’ve got in front of us, our goal is to be in Indianapolis, that was the goal from the set. No one’s going to care about Colorado when we are in the Big Ten Championship.”
The team implemented a 24-hour rule where players can be down about a loss or excited after a win. After those 24 hours, the team puts the result behind them and moves forward with the next week.
This rule appeared to work this week as the Huskers had a strong Monday practice and appeared ready to move on to their next opponent Northern Illinois (1-1). Two years ago, Northern Illinois came in to Memorial Stadium and upset the Huskers 21-17.
Barry was on the field for that game and wants to make sure a similar upset won’t happen again.
“When I look back at that loss, I just think we didn’t give them the respect that they deserved,” Barry said. “...Every team we play this year we’re going to give them their respect they deserve like they’re the best team.”
Northern Illinois will present a tough task for the Huskers as it put up a good fight last week against No. 11 Utah. The Huskies lost 35-17 but were only down 21-17 at halftime.
“What got my attention at first was looking at the score [of the Utah game] before I went out for the Colorado game,” Frost said. “...Defensively they fly around, they’re like a swarm of bees or fire ants or something. There’s movement on the d-line all the time, there’s linebackers sprinting through the line of scrimmage through gaps.”
One way the Huskers can try to deal with the swarming defense will be by using more weapons in the passing game. Through two games, wide receivers not named JD Spielman or Wan’Dale Robinson have combined for only one reception for six yards.
That has shocked Frost as he expected more receivers to get involved, one of them being senior wide receiver Kanawai Noa.
“I’m really surprised the ball hasn’t found Kanawai yet, he did some really good things in the game,” Frost said. “...We design some things for certain people and the rest of the time we run our offense and throw to the open guy. If they’re open in this offense the ball’s going to get to them.”
The Huskers will look to use those other weapons when they take on the Northern Illinois Huskies Saturday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on FS1.