Nebraska lost to Ohio State by five points on Saturday.
The funny thing is that depending upon who you talk to, many will likely shape that game to fit their own narrative.
The majority of the words written among the newspapers and blogs as well as what I heard on the radio the past week generally came to the same conclusions. First, Ohio State had an extra week to prepare for Nebraska so all the issues that appeared to plague the team would be addressed. Second, after getting trounced by Purdue two weeks ago Ohio State would come firing on all cylinders and run Nebraska off the field.
Well it didn’t happen. So now it is time to shape the game to fit the narrative.
So was this the case of talented players continuing to buy-in? They have obviously improved on so many levels that Nebraska fans should be excited even though Nebraska lost? Is Nebraska a team that is playing well and if things go their way then they are a hard team to beat?
Or is Ohio State obviously such a flawed team and so much is going on at the school, both inside and outside of football, that the distractions obviously are playing a substantial role in quality of play? Remember that Urban Meyer has a five season (more or less) shelf-life as a coach before he takes a year off and he moves on. Maybe this is that time.
Or maybe there are other versions we will want to paint to fit the narrative.
The narrative I am choosing to push is that I am pumped for the future. And that Scott Frost and his coaching staff can flat out coach. And we can see the difference that a culture makes. Isn’t it nice to see in-season improvement? The road we came down to get here will be worth it in the end.
But it still sucks to lose.
Husker players disappointed in defeat, but see obvious progress: Brian Christopherson - 24/7 Nebraska
They had made a top-10 team and their fan base uneasy all day. They had made Urban Meyer remark after it was over that they are "going to be a hell of a team down the road."
This wasn't Michigan. So far from it. This also wasn't what it could've been for Nebraska, they all knew.
Martinez takes another step forward in loss: Michael Bruntz - 24/7 Nebraska
Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez wasn’t in the mood for bright sides and silver linings as he sat on the podium after Nebraska’s 36-31 loss to Ohio State.
Though Saturday will go down as another important step in Martinez’s development as a college quarterback, he was still mentally kicking himself over a first half turnover that negated a likely scoring drive, and missed connections in the third quarter that allowed Ohio State to retake the lead.
Frost is Almost Out of Martinez Superlatives, Here's a Moment Instead: Brandon Vogel - Hail Varsity
The 509th Bomb Wing arrived here from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri at about the same time the Nebraska football charter did on Friday night. Members of the 509th, the unit that launched America’s first military response on 9/11, were executing the flyover ahead of Ohio State-Nebraska the following day.
U.S. Air Force Captain Kyle Cassady would lead the trio of jets over Ohio Stadium. His grandfather, Howard “Hopalong” Cassady, won the Heisman Trophy while a Buckeye in 1955.
Nebraska Felt Disrespected, and a 36-31 Loss Only Left it Frustrated: Hail Varsity - Derek Petersen
Nebraska is leaving Ohio Stadium with a moral victory it doesn’t want because an actual victory it nearly had was a maybe a couple inches, a couple plays or a couple months away from materializing. Nebraska took a top-10 Ohio State team to the brink and left pissed off. That, more than anything, shows how far this Husker team has come.
Before the game, the senior class had a message for the Huskers. The guys that have been around for a while, the guys that went through the 62-3 debacle the last time Nebraska visited the Shoe, the guys that suffered through last year’s 56-14 drubbing, they felt disrespected.
Maybe Michigan Was 'the Bottom' for Nebraska After All: Erin Sorensen - Hail Varsity
It has been six weeks since Nebraska's 56-10 loss to Michigan. Coach Scott Frost said after the matchup in Ann Arbor that he honestly believed it was "going to be the bottom" for the Huskers.
And then the 42-28 loss to Purdue happened. And the 41-24 loss to Wisconsin. And the 34-31 overtime loss to Northwestern. From the outside looking in, it felt like the bottom kept getting lower and lower for Nebraska. What wasn't seen was the confidence that was rising behind closed doors.
If you thought Ohio State would “make some changes” and “get this thing fixed” in their bye week after a brutal loss to Purdue, I’ve got some bad news for you. Despite having two whole weeks to prepare for a 2-6 Nebraska team, Ohio State still looked lethargic today, stumbling out of the gates and surviving on talent en route to a 36-31 win.
For Frost and Huskers, there are no silver linings as No. 10 Buckeyes escape: Lincoln Journal-Star - Parker Gabriel
Nothing in the world is black and white, so when a 2-6 football team goes on the road and leads a top-10 Ohio State team that’s embarrassed it the past two autumns with wins that came by a total of 101 points, the natural instinct is to measure the result relative to expectations.
If you're a Nebraska football fan still aching from Saturday's 36-31 loss to Ohio State, think back to last year's game in Lincoln.
Think back to Fox play-by-play man Gus Johnson at one point exclaiming, "How simple can it get for the Buckeyes!?"
I know there are no moral victories but without struggle there is no progress. There was struggle from #huskers this time. So that is progress.— Mike'l Severe (@MikelSevere) November 3, 2018
The thing that stands out to me is Nebraska didn't even play that well relative to what they could do and they lost a one-possession game on the road to a Bogeyman.— Mike Schaefer (@mikejschaefer) November 3, 2018
Take that for what it's worth, but certainly feels/looks like a gap of some sort has closed.
Ozigbo had 86 rushing yards on 20 carries. (796 yards for the year) Morgan had 87 receiving yards on 7 catches. (725 yards for the year) Spielman had 61 receiving yards on 6 catches. (747 yards for the year)— Brian Christopherson (@Husker247BC) November 3, 2018
No embarrassment this time.— Steven M. Sipple (@HuskerExtraSip) November 3, 2018
Growth in Frost’s program glaringly apparent.
But these dudes are competitors. They’ll lament missed opportunities and the loss will sting ...
Frost says the #Huskers are mad they lost "because we came here expecting to win." Called today a step forward.— Derek Peterson (@DrPeteyHV) November 3, 2018
Scott Frost: “We had every opportunity in the world to win that game.” #Huskers— Parker Gabriel (@HuskerExtraPG) November 3, 2018
Urban Meyer offered this about Nebraska in the postgame: "That's going to be a hell of a team down the road, and we've got a lot of respect for them."— Brian Christopherson (@Husker247BC) November 3, 2018
Jerald Foster on Adrian Martinez: "Being a senior, an old guy, having a freshman kind of pushing us forward, it’s wild. I’m so happy for this program that we have a guy like him at quarterback. In the years to come, it’s going to be something special." #Huskers— Parker Gabriel (@HuskerExtraPG) November 3, 2018
One more from Barry:— Christopher Heady (@heady_chris) November 3, 2018
"We know we should beat them. That’s a great feeling. Because that’s how it should be at Nebraska. We shouldn't say 'Oh, No. 10 team.' We should beat them in the Horseshoe. We should beat Ohio State in the Horseshoe. And we were this close."
Ben Stille: "I think a lot of the fans, their mentality is, 'Oh, you guys played a top-10 team close.' None of the guys on this team came here to do that. ... Nobody is OK with that result." #Huskers— Parker Gabriel (@HuskerExtraPG) November 3, 2018
Thank You Ohio State Marching Band from Nebraska Fans
At halftime today the Ohio State University Marching Band will close its performance by honoring the memory of Tyler Butterfield, a member of the @UNLBands who was killed in a car accident last week. #huskers— Matt Coatney (@Coatman1) November 3, 2018