Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Plenty to Improve on, but Nebraska Is Feeling Good After Win Over Penn State

November 16, 2020

“A Monday after a win is way different than a Monday after a loss.”

Inside linebacker Collin Miller was the first to address the media on Monday, and that’s what he had to say when asked about the feeling in the locker room to start the week. Nebraska defeated Penn State, 30-23, on Saturday. “There’s no better feeling,” Miller said, but it needs to be a regular thing.

A winning culture helps everyone, especially the young players on the team, “so we need more of them.”

From quarterback Luke McCaffrey’s standpoint, learning from a win is much, much different than learning from a loss.

“Any time you win and can learn from victory is such a different feeling and different vibe,” McCaffrey said. “It’s something we’re thankful for and something we’ll pursue every week.”

Coach Scott Frost felt his players were excited on Monday, but he said they can’t be relaxed after one win. The team will have to continue to improve. With that said, he does feel good about where everyone is mentally.

Defensive back Dicaprio Bootle agreed.

“Winning makes everything better,” Bootle said. “. . . Emotions were high. We ended up grinding out that win, sticking together.”

With a win under its belt, Nebraska is now turning its attention toward Illinois. The Huskers haven’t won back-to-back conference games since 2018, when the team defeated Illinois and then Michigan State the week after. The possibility of updating that?

“We have to be mindful of the opponents at hand, but we have to dial in on the one this week,” Bootle said.

More news and notes:

>> What does Miller think of JoJo Domann’s performance against Penn State?

“I don’t think I saw him slow down one time,” Miller said. “. . . Playing 90 [plays] looks like playing 14 for him.”

>> Defensive lineman Ty Robinson lived with McCaffrey in the summer before their freshmen seasons at Nebraska. As a result, he has a unique perspective of McCaffrey.

“That man is a ball of energy,” Robinson said.

>> After 91 snaps against Penn State, Robinson was ready to just rest.

“I can tell you this,” he said. “Right after the game, I went home and laid down and I don’t even remember closing my eyes.”

>> After being out against Northwestern, Cam Jurgens was back at center for Nebraska against Penn State. He said his foot was sore on Saturday, but he had worked on it throughout the week and felt good to make a decision to start on game day.

“Being a football player you just have to work through it,” Jurgens said.

>> Jurgens gave plenty of credit to the defense for its performance against Penn State, especially in getting points on the scoreboard.

“When your defense can get a scoop-and-score it takes a lot of pressure off the offense,” Jurgens said. “. . . Points on the board are points on the board.”

>> Jurgens also said he had a bad snapping day. Part of correcting that is to pay more attention and not get too hyped up. He said that would help ensure his snaps do not come out “high and hot.”

>> Frost called Marvin Scott III after the game to give him credit for making a key block on Zavier Betts’ touchdown, as well as the catch on McCaffrey’s left-handed pass play. He felt those two plays might have been the difference between winning and losing for Nebraska.

>> What did Frost thing about that left-handed throw from McCaffrey?

“I’m OK with it because it worked,” he joked.

>> Is the QB spot still open for competition? Frost said nothing has changed between McCaffrey and Adrian Martinez. Both will continue to compete weekly for the starting job. While McCaffrey practiced well last week, Frost said Martinez did as well.

>> Frost said Nebraska swapped sidelines in the game (from the east sideline to the west) to protect their signals with a less chaotic environment in the stadium sans fans.

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