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The Morning After: Nebraska Shows Us Reasons to be Encouraged and Discouraged.

Whatever you need is there for you after this loss

Nebraska v Oklahoma Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Moral victories are for losers.

Nebraska has done it’s fair share of losing over the past half a decade. Maybe if the shoe fits then wear it.

If we don’t want to say a moral victory then how about a righteous achievement! A virtuous success! A honorable result!

How would Scott Frost describe the seven point loss to the third ranked team in the country? “But if they play like that, like we played today all year, and fight that hard all year, we’re going to have a chance in a lot of games. As disappointed as I am, I’m happy for the way that they competed.”

So was I.

This football program is not where many Nebraska fans want it to be. At times it sure feels like there is still a long ways to go. Is it possible, however, that Nebraska could actually be closer than we realize.

Watching Nebraska match blows with Oklahoma doesn’t hurt. We could also go back a week with a 28-3 win over a good Buffalo team. The Big Ten office came back this week and admitted that two of the touchdowns called back by penalties should have counted.

Why bring up Buffalo? Well that same Buffalo team lost by three points yesterday to Coastal Carolina which is currently the 16th ranked team in the country.

The special teams continue to punish Nebraska. Missing two field goals and getting an extra point blocked and returned for two points is the recipe for a loss to just about any team. The inconsistent, to be kind, play of the offensive line is still an issue. There should be expected incremental improvement for Greg Austin’s guys as the season goes along.

So is Nebraska making progress? We should find out next week against Michigan State. They are looking like the most improved team in the Big Ten.

If Nebraska lays an egg in East Lansing this Saturday then these moral victories won’t matter.

Which is why moral victories are for losers.

Husker comeback falls short in loss to No. 3 Oklahoma | Football |
Nebraska had a chance late in the fourth quarter of a one-score game but couldn't complete the comeback and lost to No. 3 Oklahoma, 23-16, on Saturday.

Everything Scott Frost said after Nebraska's loss to Oklahoma
Scott Frost knew his team had played its tails off.

He also knew the game was there to be won, even if so many had expected Oklahoma to run away and hide from Nebraska on Saturday.

Here's everything he said after the game.

Game Balls: Who stood out against Oklahoma?
Nebraska had no shortage of important performers on Saturday in a hard fought 23-16 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners.

Report Card: Huskers hang but can't pull off upset over Sooners
The Huskers hung very tough against Oklahoma and did so despite playing far from perfect in the contest. That’s a credit to buying into and executing game plans and it's a credit to the talent on the team.

Still it wasn’t enough and the Huskers fell 23-16 on Saturday to the No. 3-ranked Sooners.

How did things grade out:

Husker Report Card: Grading Nebraska's performance against Oklahoma | Football |
After each game, The World-Herald's Sam McKewon hands out his Husker Report Card, assessing Nebraska's performance in several areas. Here are the grades coming out of the Oklahoma game.

Huskers not satisfied by near miss to talented Sooners
The hospitality was on point. The biscuits and gravy, they sure know how to whip up a plate around here. Order an "Oklahoma Lemonade" and the waitress is kind enough to make sure an outsider understands, "That comes in a boot. Is that going to be OK?"

Yes. Bring the boot.

Jurgens talks up-and-down day for O-line
After Oklahoma scored on its opening offensive possession of the game, Nebraska’s offense took the field for its first possession, but before the Huskers could even run a play, flags hit the Oklahoma turf moving the Huskers backward — a false start followed by another false start.

Here are the final takes and grades following Nebraska's 23-16 loss at Oklahoma on Saturday.
Nebraska lost to No. 3 Oklahoma on Saturday. Nobody is probably surprised by that, considering the Huskers came into Saturday as a three-touchdown underdog.

However, what people are surprised by is the Huskers had the ball with a minute left in the game down 23-16 with a chance to tie or even win the game. We saw an NU team on Saturday that resembled what a fourth-year head coach Scott Frost team should look like.

Nebraska Huskers Football: 10 things we learned from NU's loss to Oklahoma
Here are 10 of our biggest takeaways from Nebraska's 23-16 loss to No. 3 Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon...