Husker press conference, Sept. 9: Nebraska presses forward after processing 'gut punch' loss

Nebraska players and coach Scott Frost on Monday rehashed the Huskers' 34-31 loss to Colorado and previewed NU's upcoming game for Northern Illinois.

Frost said the offense and defense played good enough for three quarters at Colorado, but they need to play that well for four because the margin for error isn't big enough.

"We're not so good that we can have penalties or setbacks on offense and overcome second-and-16," Frost said. "And we're also not so good that we can make mistakes and give people big plays and expect to win.

"Everything else in that game stays the same — and we win the turnover margin, like we've talked about 100 times in meetings — and we probably win the game. It'll be nice when the days around here, we've got so much talent that we can run out and play like we're supposed to and hopefully people won't have a chance.

"Right now, no matter who you're playing, you have to play well. If our margins are small, we have to execute well."

Although Frost said he never noticed the altitude when he played in Colorado, he acknowledged it may have had something to do with Saturday's loss.

Frost and players both said Monday's practice was strong.

Looking forward to Saturday's game against Northern Illinois — which beat Nebraska 21-17 in 2017 — Frost said the Huskies' defense is similar to a swarm of bees or fire ants.

"There's movement on the D-line all the time, there's linebackers sprinting through gaps," Frost said. "We have to block moving targets this week. They're going to make us earn it on the ground. We need to complete some balls to our wideouts and be able to block them with movement."

Captain and nose tackle Darrion Daniels said the team had poor execution in the second half Saturday.

"We know where we messed up. That's the positive outlook," Daniels said. "We know where we can get better at. And I feel like today we moved on."

Daniels added that the team practiced hard Monday and worked on all the little things they messed up in Colorado.

Offensive tackle Matt Farniok said the team has a 24-hour rule regarding their feelings after a game.

"You can be mad or angry, but that 24 hours is up and you gotta get to work. You've got to throw away your feelings and just keep attacking," Farnoik said. "The past is the past. You can't change it. Change today."

Farnoik agreed with the others that Monday was one of their best practices yet.

"Maybe that gut punch is what we needed to understand what it takes to dig a little deeper and find more of ourselves," Farniok said.

In response to a question about NU's 2017 loss to Northern Illinois, Farniok said the team has a better understanding of the offense, is more physical and plays faster than two years ago.

Linebacker Mohamed Barry said as a captain he has to get his guys right, be confident in himself and dial in on the things he messed up during practice.

"Today I said, 'Enough with the talk, man, let's work,'" Barry said.

In regards to the next game, Barry said NU didn't give the 2017 Huskies the respect they deserved. That week the team was overconfident and played relaxed football.

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