Nugent: A Monday through Friday lack of urgency

Nebraska Cornhuskers safety Isaac Gifford #23
Nebraska FB vs Illinois
Nebraska Cornhuskers safety Isaac Gifford #23 Nebraska FB vs Illinois Nebraska Football Nebraska Athletics Communications Office (Nebraska Athletics Communications Office | Nebraska Athletics Communications Office)
Published: Nov. 21, 2020 at 8:51 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - What could have been.

Nebraska could be a team that just won two straight after opening up against the only two undefeated teams in the Big Ten. Strong chance Ohio State plays Northwestern for the conference crown and it would be hard to feel bad about those loses especially if the Huskers showed growth following those first two games.

That’s not the case. Instead were looking at a team that its head coach said this after the Illinois loss “We acted like we won one game and we were going to be fine.”

It wasn’t the only time Scott Frost made the observation, “It was almost like our team thought we won one game. We’re good. We’re good. That’s not how it works in this league. It’s not how it works in life. It’s not how it works in football.”

It’s a team that’s learning, learning how to identify its weaknesses as it grows. Think about it, after two losses, they finally enjoyed a victory, and attached to that win was a freshman quarterback who started his first game. In that scenario, yes anybody would feel good about the future, anybody would feel good about Luke McCaffrey.

The part that might be the challenge is recognizing while the team might have upgraded a high profile position like quarterback, there are still several areas that also need to be improved. Scott Frost has said the margin of error is thin for this team. That’s likely not going to change in a short two month season.  At no point can the Huskers ever relax or feel like they have it figured out. That goes for every team in college football, it is a constant chase.

Sounds like the lesson has been learned, here’s Austin Allen on practice leading up to the Illinois game, “We’re just going through the motions. And that’s on us as leaders to notice that and pick this up.”

The leaders are very valuable to this young team, one that started six underclassmen on offense against Penn State and started a true freshman, Marvin Scott against Illinois. It can’t only be the coaches pushing the team.

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