Turning the corner: how close is Nebraska to becoming a winning football program?

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Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 2:02 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - It’s something Nebraska coaches and players have said all season long and it was a point of emphasis after practice on Monday: the program is better than what the record indicates.

In a results-based business, that’s tough for fans to hear and accept, but coaches and players insist that it’s true.

Those within the program truly believe that consistent winning is on the horizon.

“We’ve got a lot of guys that are dying to get this thing right,” head coach Scott Frost said. “The progress matters, but the results have to come.”

The “progress” is what gives everyone the belief that they can win in the Big Ten.

Multiple players said Monday that where the team was at the beginning of the season compared to now is quite different.

“From an inside perspective, we’re more together as a team. Practice now compared to last year is night and day,” defensive lineman Casey Rogers said. “It’s going to flip and when that’s exposed to the outside world... it’s going to be an exciting day at Nebraska.”

Outside linebacker Garret Nelson admitted he reads a lot of the criticism that has come the team’s way on social media.

Nelson said he believes people who don’t see the progress and believe the team can win are “crazy.”

“We’re very close to even being an elite defense. We’re playing very solid right now... We’re at the tipping point,” Nelson said.

On the offensive side, Austin Allen sees the same thing.

Allen said he goes back and watches games and sees plays executed perfectly except one guy would miss a block or one guy would run the wrong route.

“This offense is built to execute with 11 guys doing their job. You can’t do it with just 10,” Allen said.

Allen said the same thing that’s been said a lot this year: “We’re so close.”

“We’ve seen it happen before. We can win consecutive games in a row,” Allen said.

With one game to go in the third year of the Scott Frost era, the team is 11-20 under Frost.

The Cornhuskers have lost numerous close games during that span.

Frost and the Nebraska players keep saying that they’re building to make the program what it once was and that they’re close to getting there.

They also know that saying that they’re close is nothing but words.

“It’s got to turn into wins,” Frost said.

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