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Corn Nation Over Reaction: For Huskers, an Ugly Win is Still a Win

Nebraska v Illinois Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

This week’s episode has Greg and Hoss giving their thoughts on Nebraska’s 20-7 road win over Illinois.

The victory is Nebraska’s third on the season and first in the Big Ten. But with a well-positioned bye week, there should be plenty of hope building as opponents like Northwestern, Purdue, and Michigan State loom.

Greg was at the game in Champaign with his oldest son, and that wind was no joke. Biting and right in their faces, minutes after the opening kick off, the son asked if the trio could leave and go home, lamenting that watching the game on the tv in a warm house seems like a better proposition. He’s seven. He admitted to Greg (okay, Me, I’m Greg) that he only agreed to go to the game to make me happy and that he didn’t really want to be there. He’s a great kid with a big heart. I don’t often give him enough credit. And so it was up to me to keep him as warm as possible throughout the game. We stayed until Nebraska was in the victory formation.

Hoss and I talk about the defense, and how the goalline stand was a turning point in the game and maybe in the season, as that is a moment that a team can build off of for confidence. While some writers said Nebraska didn’t “want” it enough last week against Michigan, I’m not sure how much “want” it would have taken to overcome the obvious gap in talent. But this Tony White defense is full of WANT. They are the horse we are riding for the rest of the season, and the team will go only as far as the defense can carry them.

The offense did just enough to not lose the game (looking at those last three meaningful drives before the victory formation), and local Champaign headlines Saturday read something like “Illinois lost a game Nebraska Tried to Give Away.” If Nebraska doesn’t turn the ball over, and if freshman Tristan Alvano doesn’t miss that FG attempt, a 20-7 win could have been a 44-7 win. But if “if’s” and “but’s” were candies and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas.” The point is...this Nebraska team is improving. And I think they will continue to improve even more as they hopefully get healthier in the off-week.

Enjoy the show. Go Big Red.