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Let’s Just Enjoy This Win and the Morning After

There are certainly reasons to be critical but now is not the time.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska football is currently not in the privileged position to be picky on how it finds a way to win. It just needs to find a way.

On Saturday Nebraska found a way to beat Penn State.

Earlier this week Coach Scott Frost said that the kids need to start seeing success. They needed to start seeing good things happen.

In other words, they simply needed a win. “The state needed it. The team needed it. I needed it,” Frost said after the game. They needed this win because sometimes you need to be rewarded for all the work you put into the game. The win was the reward.

Not that you need my permission but I give you my permission to do the following: Enjoy this win. Give yourself 24-48 hours to soak in the feeling of a win. It has been 357 days since a Nebraska football win. After pulling out my old calculus book I have now concluded that Nebraska was eight days short of making it an entire year without a win.

In a year with COVID-19 I think you can allow yourself 24 hours to feel the sunshine and soft raindrops of win.

After the initial 24-48 hour window then I think you can take the time to parse apart the fact that Nebraska has scored a combined three points in the second half of games this season.

However, that time is not now.

The Morning After

10 things we learned from Nebraska's win over Penn State
Here are 10 of our biggest takeaways from Nebraska's 30-23 home win over Penn State on Saturday afternoon...

Here are the final takes and grades following Nebraska's 30-23 win over Penn State on Saturday.
As Penn State quarterback Will Levis's final throw hit the ground, you could just feel the sigh of relief not only from head coach Scott Frost, but the entire state of Nebraska.

Report Card: Huskers improve in some areas in beating Penn State
Nebraska found a way to survive and advance with a win on Saturday. It wasn’t pretty and the way the game started it felt like Nebraska would have more going for it, but no one around these parts is going to apologize for a win.

What does a win do for the report card?

Frost: 'The state needed it. The team needed it. I needed it.'
The opponent's snap count kept growing, and growing, and perhaps so too did the incessant feeling among Husker fans that they were about to get socked in the gut.

The Husker defense looked a bit like a fighter in Round 11, legs tired and all those punches absorbed, but still there was a lead and Nebraska had it gripped by its pinky finger.

A 'Turn-the-Page' Win for Nebraska, but Story Far from Finished for the Offense | Hail Varsity - Nebraska Football, Recruiting, News
Nebraska is 1-0 with Luke McCaffrey as the starter and perhaps that’s all that matters.

“The state needed it. The team needed it. I needed it,” Scott Frost said following the Huskers’ hang-on-for-dear-life 30-23 win over Penn State.

Defensive Growth Impossible to Ignore in Nebraska's 30-23 Win Over Penn State | Hail Varsity - Nebraska Football, Recruiting, News
Luke McCaffrey was getting ready for a potential overtime possession. He asked his left tackle, Brenden Jaimes, to provide updates on what was happening between the numbers.

Nebraska’s offense wasn’t out on the field much in the second half (12 minutes to Penn State’s 18) but their own inefficiencies had as much to do with that as Penn State’s domineering ground game.

Husker defense steps up late for Nebraska's first win in 357 days | Football |
It wasn’t perfect, but for the first time in 357 days, Nebraska football is a winner.

The Husker defense turned away Penn State in the red zone twice in the final minutes of the fourth quarter and leaned on the offense’s strong first half to hold on in a 30-23 nail-biter that was equal parts flawed and cathartic.

Hidden Yards Tracker: Turnovers were defining factor in Huskers' win over Penn State | Football |
Penn State outgained Nebraska 501 to 298 on Saturday, but the hidden yards — particularly turnovers and subsequent points after them — were a defining factor in the Huskers' 30-23 win over the Nittany Lions.

“When you get those plays in this league, you gotta take advantage of them because they can turn around and bite you, too,” Scott Frost said after the game.

'The state needed it': Smooth sailing turned to survival mode, but Huskers hang on to beat Penn State | Football |
If there’s a lesson Scott Frost has learned in his nearly three years now as the head coach of his alma mater, perhaps it’s the same one Nebraska has been learning seemingly for most of its football days since the fall of 2011.

Nothing in the Big Ten comes easily.

Penn State Football Once Again Looked Listless In Loss To Nebraska - Black Shoe Diaries
This game was great! It had offenses running the ball, it had offenses throwing the ball. It had offenses kicking the ball. It also had defenses standing there and watching offenses run, throw, and kick the ball!* In fact, I’m told that this game even had teams punt the ball! How exhilarating!