Mentally, it can be difficult to bounce back from a loss like the one Nebraska suffered to Northwestern.
Sitting at 0-6 after a near-win that was lost in overtime, it's natural to wonder if a team might check out mentally. Coach Scott Frost wasn't sure what he'd be met with at Monday's practice.
“You know, I was worried about it on Sunday and [Monday] morning before they got here and I was shocked," Frost said. "For the last three weeks, I wish people could see inside the walls and see how good the culture is right now and how much it’s turned and how much better it is and how much the guys are banding together.
"The one concern I have, as great as it was today [and] it was our best practice ever, the one concern I have is I don’t want the guys to get used to losing and be OK with it. I know the vast majority of our team isn’t but I don’t want them to get comfortable with it either. So that’s the one concern I have, but that’s far outweighed by how the guys came back to work today with an attitude and a smile on their face and went to work.”
For someone like freshman outside linebacker Caleb Tannor, the team's mentality on Monday was simple. It was all about not letting the loss to Northwestern beat Nebraska twice.
“The loss was out of our minds once we touched down back in Lincoln after the game Saturday," Tannor said. "Today was a great practice, honestly. It was not on our minds. Our mindset is on how we are going to work and what we need to do against Minnesota. That’s all we are worried about right now.”
Senior center Tanner Farmer agrees. He saw a group that bounced back well after Saturday's loss.
"We are not down about this," Farmer said. "We have a bunch of guys that love to play the game. We are going to keep on fighting until we can get a [win] and pile them up. We are just going to keep getting better. Guys love the process and that’s why we are going to keep chugging along.”
Frost has said he wants that first win for the seniors. Guys like senior linebacker and captain Luke Gifford deserve it more than anyone. From Gifford's perspective, he's not down about the losses. He just wants to keep his teammates engaged in the face of an 0-6 start.
“I think about my time here and how fast it’s gone," Gifford said. "When you are young it’s hard to understand that. As an older guy, I can relay that message and try to get through to the younger guys that it does fly by so you have to take every opportunity you can get. As an older guy along with Farmer, who does a good job of it, and the rest of the senior leaders, we have really been on that.
"It obviously hasn’t gone the way we want it to but there is still an opportunity for those young guys to make an impact and start something. It’s definitely been a talking point.”
Frost said Monday's practice was Nebraska's best in his time with the team. It can be easy to write that off until the wins follow, but the comments from Frost and the team say they're not checking out.
Even at 0-6, the Huskers are still determined to get things on the right path for better days ahead.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.