Nebraska must rebound from loss well

October, 20, 2010
10/20/10
3:15
PM ET
Saturday's loss hurt. There's no denying that for the Huskers.

Mistakes that peeked from behind a corner early in the season were impossible to ignore in its biggest regular season game of the year.

Three dropped touchdown passes. Twenty eight missed tackles, by Bo Pelini's count. A seven-point loss.

Worse, it came at the hands of the Longhorns, a team that's emerged as Nebraska's chief rival. After denying the Huskers a Big 12 title last December, and spurring a move to the Big Ten over the summer, the Huskers players and fans wanted to beat no one more in 2010 than the Longhorns.

They didn't, and barring an unlikely turn of events, they won't get another chance at Texas for a long, long time. Nebraska still has plenty of opportunities in front of it, chief of those a Big 12 North title. The quickest way to squander that chance is by losing to No. 14 Oklahoma State in Stillwater.

"We didn’t get out there and play the way we’re capable of playing the way we're capable of playing," said Nebraska coach Bo Pelini. "We're anxious to get back out there."

Both Pelini and receiver Niles Paul spoke openly about the criticism from fans on Saturday. A fan shouted at Pelini as he came off the field after the loss, and Paul was accosted by fans on more than one occasion after the game. He also got such an avalanche of criticism on his Facebook page. He shut down the account.

Both are shaking off the criticism, intent on learning from the experience.

"The loss was good for us. It humbled us. Showed us that we haven’t arrived yet and showed us that there’s a lot of work to be done," said cornerback Prince Amukamara.

That work began with assessing their own performances, which for most, featured obvious mistakes, Amukamara said.

"We’ve kept everything the same. I don’t think we’re really going to change anything we do," Amukamara said. "We just have to work on us."

For Amukamara, that work must be effective. He'll have maybe his toughest challenge of the season when he tries to cover Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon, the league's most productive receiver through the first half of the season.

"He’s definitely a receiver that likes to compete, likes to go up and get the ball. He's aggressive," Amukamara said. "I go hard against anybody that lines up across me. That’s how I’m coached, to compete every day. I don’t think my mindset has changed."

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