There was exactly one positive, Nebraska coach Scott Frost said, about Wisconsin canceling its game with the Huskers and the Big Ten saying no to a non-conference replacement.
Frost got to go trick-or-treating Saturday night with his kids.
Everything else? Well, Frost made a joke, more than once, on Monday to underline his and the team's frustration with the strange 2020 football season.
NU has had more practices, Frost said, while playing only one game, than any other team in the history of college football.
As a result, the Huskers are heading into the Northwestern game, Frost said, with a little bit of a "chip" on their shoulder.
"I think they feel like some people are out to get them, or have an ax to grind against them a little bit," Frost said. "I think they feel like they haven't accomplished everything they could have accomplished. I think they feel like they lost some close games that we could have won if we'd played a little better, a little harder or a little smarter.
"I think our program is ready to turn a big-time corner, but it's tough to where we're given circumstances where we can't get on the field and get better. I think our kids are just anxious to get back out there and try and win a game."
Why is Nebraska close to turning a corner?
"We're doing little things better," Frost said. "To win in this league, you've got to block, you've got to tackle, you've got to cover and you've got to play smart. The margin of error in this league is real thin. I feel like, for two years, we've kind of found ways to not win."
Quarterback Adrian Martinez agreed.
"We continue to have that chip on our shoulder, and really that determined mentality," Martinez said.
More quick hits from the chat with Frost and players.
>>The first-half targeting suspensions for Cam Taylor-Britt and Deontai Williams will carry over, Frost said, to the Northwestern game.
>>NU held a scary movie night on Halloween for players so they wouldn't go out and make bad choices, Frost said. Many players attended.
>>Frost said he did a straw poll of his football team on Monday to determine how many Husker players had already voted or were planning to vote on Election Day, which the NCAA has mandated as a day off for all student-athletes. Frost said most of them will vote.
"That's what democracy is all about - a constitutional republic," Frost said.
>>Games with Northwestern, cornerback Dicaprio Bootle, are close because Northwestern is tough, relatively mistake-free and the kind of program that waits for the opponent to mess up.
"Every minute counts when you're playing them," Bootle said.
Northwestern's offense - under a new offensive coordinator - looks good, Bootle said. The Wildcats' quarterback, Payton Ramsey, played for Indiana last year.
"As long as we play good, sound defense - read our keys, be where we're supposed to be - good things will happen," Bootle said.
Bootle said he'd rather have a second game under his belt than a COVID-19-created bye week to prepare for Northwestern. NU would appear to have a leg up, though, on preparation based on all Big Ten teams having to take Tuesday off for Election Day.
>>Receiver Wan'Dale Robinson said the receivers can "do a lot more" than they did in the season opener against Ohio State, and the coaches have more they can show, too. Robinson said he takes it upon himself to shepherd the younger receivers to get their skillset right so they can earn the coaches' trust. Robinson said he takes occasional snaps at running back. It varies from ten to 30 snaps per day, he said, depending on the gameplan. Robinson had one of his best games of his career against Northwestern, logging 186 all-purpose yards and a first-half touchdown. He had a catch that set up NU's game-winning field goal, too, in the 13-10 victory.
Northwestern, Robinson said, is playing "better" than people would have expected, and the Wildcats' success is proof of the league's depth.
>>Offensive guard Matt Farniok praised Northwestern's defensive line and linebackers as a tough group that turns a game into a "inch by inch" contest.
"They're going to meet you and try to overpower you," Farniok said.
Frost said Northwestern "whipped" Nebraska's offense last year.