Steven Sipple, Lincoln Journal Star: Latest loss severely tests any sense of optimism for Riley’s program
I'm guessing Mike Riley can maintain his sense of humor despite Saturday's proceedings. He's 64. He's seen his share of good times and bad times and everything in between during four decades of football coaching. But, yes, Saturday was a distinctly bad time, as Nebraska dropped a 21-17 decision on its home field to Northern Illinois, a Mid-American Conference team that was 5-7 last season.
Riley obviously was in no mood for humor in the immediate aftermath.
"This will sound like an understatement, but we are just really bitterly disappointed with losing the game," the third-year Husker coach said.
If a train wreck occurs in Memorial Stadium and nobody stops to watch, did it happen? As Northern Illinois players stormed the field in celebration, Husker fans shuffled quietly away.
The sound of boos had filled the air earlier in the day, but there was nothing but silence now. Was it the sound of acceptance? That’s the question now.
This is Nebraska football as we know it in 2017. What happened can no longer be surprising. And that’s the biggest punch in the gut.
Dave Drury, HustleBelt: Huskies shock Huskers!
All in all, NIU’s defense was the story. Yes, they gave up 384 yards (299 passing and 85 rushing) but also forced three turnovers and scored the bulk of NIU’s points.
Dirk Chatelain, Omaha WH: Huskers loss to Northern Illinois brings back bad memories of 2007 season
The Huskers love their reunions so much that occasionally they slip one into the schedule without telling anyone. Like Saturday, when Mike Riley’s team did an epic impression of the 2007 team.
Happy 10 years!
What, you say, Nebraska shouldn’t honor its worst team of the modern era, an edition so infamous that it prompted sacking the A.D. midseason and the football coach one month later? Sadly, it may be too late to make those distinctions.
One quarter into the 2017 season, the Huskers are flirting with a Pederson/Callahan/Keller disaster. A series of Black Saturdays so ugly it’ll make Nebraskans hungry for basketball season.
Sam McKewon: Omaha WH: AD Shawn Eichorst: “Everyone has to take it up a notch”
“It’s hard to, on the outside looking in, objectively to say that,” Eichorst said. “But I do see that on a lot of levels. I’m not concerned (about) the end of last season. My obligation is these young men in our program and our staff. We’ll be judged week-to-week on our performance. Today’s performance was not good enough.”
Eichorst said he didn’t get down for coach Mike Riley’s press conference, but presumed he said the same things.
“They have to do better,” Eichorst said. “The players have to do better. They have to prepare better for next week. Nobody’s feeling sorry for anybody. There’s no excuses to be made.
“We will work hard and hunker down and we have great leadership. I will provide leadership, as I have to this point and continue to stay positive. I’m very, very optimistic about what we have. We need to stay together and continue to make progress. We have to win games. That’s what we’re here to do and we didn’t get that done today.”
Mike Mallow, Dekalb Daily Chronicle: Northern Illinois pulls off the upset, wins at Nebraska 21-17
Moments after a stirring 21-17 upset at Nebraska, the Huskies celebrated for a moment at midfield, then darted into the locker room. Huskies fans, almost lost in a crowd of 89,664, were hoping for a curtain call. Several minutes later, the players, amid lots of high-fives and “yeah, baby”s, returned to Memorial Stadium’s southwest corner for a team photo.
“We were so excited we ran off the field. By the time we got back out there (the fans) were all gone,” coach Rod Carey said. “It was probably my fault. Should have gone out there right away.”