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Minnesota post-game nuggets

Here are some quick notes to pass along from Nebraska’s post-game press conference following Saturday’s 54-21 loss to Minnesota…

***Head coach Mike Riley said this was a game that “started bad and went from there.” Riley said Minnesota ran the ball in multiple ways, which opened up their passing game. Nebraska, on the other hand, became one-dimensional on offense to the point where they could “even try to be balanced.”

***Riley said the score and final stats obviously indicate a lack of effort by the Huskers, but wouldn’t come out and say his team wasn’t trying or wasn’t prepared. He said they “never got our feet on the ground that I can remember” on defense.

***Quarterback Tanner Lee left the game at halftime after suffering “an impact migraine” late in the first half, according to Riley. He said Lee wasn’t diagnosed with a concussion as of yet, and he’ll have more information next week.

***Riley said it “might sound like a broken record”, but the coaches would have to come back next week and devise a good game plan for Penn State and the players would have to rely on their “own personal pride” to come back ready to work again

***Defensive coordinator Bob Diaco said this game ranked as “one of those terrible, terrible days” in his career, and it was a game where everything went wrong for Nebraska’s defense. “The whole day was spectacularly unacceptable and terrible and poor,” Diaco said.

***On the zone read plays Minnesota was able to run so effectively all day, Diaco said there was a player responsible for “the pull” with the quarterback keeping the ball who struggled with that assignment. Riley said it was “our safety” who had trouble containing the edge on those option plays

***Regarding his comments on Tuesday, Diaco said he was talking about “one small thing, speaking specifically on skill” and “everybody blew a gasket.” He again said “there’s a lot of work to be done” with the defense, “a lot of work to be done.”

***Asked about the effort from the defensive players in the loss, Diaco said: “I’d have to watch the tape. It’s hard to come away from that absolute disaster and think about anything positive.”

***Asked if he thinks Diaco still has the “belief” of his players and if Diaco still has belief in is players, Riley said: “When I see his meetings and I see the interaction there, I think absolutely yes, he does.”

***Riley said quarterback Patrick O’Brien did a good job in the second half given the circumstances he walked into. He said he hates games where they have to drop back and throw every play, but thought O’Brien made some plays in a difficult situation where he wasn’t getting great protection.

***Offensive lineman Jerald Foster had a strong message when asked if the players were still fighting and cared about the remainder of the season: "It's still a Nebraska team and we hold that strong,” Foster said. “I want everybody to know that we care. We know our fans care. We know our coaches care. As players, we all care."

***Linebacker Chris Weber was still having problems with the stinger he suffered in his neck last week. He was able to play through it but missed some time.