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Amid defensive struggles, Nelson hoping loss won't 'splinter' NU's locker room

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Georgia Southern's Jalen White scores a first quarter touchdown against Nebraska at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

It was a tale of two different units for Nebraska on Saturday.

For the offense, 575 yards of total offense, six touchdowns and zero turnovers represented a stellar day at the office.

For the defense, allowing six touchdowns and 642 yards of total offense from Georgia Southern represented one of the worst performances Memorial Stadium has seen in years.

While the defense as a whole deserves to shoulder plenty of blame for the loss, Nebraska coach Scott Frost wouldn't assign the defeat to any specific part of the team.

“We win together and we lose together," Frost said. "There’s obviously guys that are frustrated, but we can’t let it divide us. We’ve got to play more complete games and that wasn’t even close.”

Defensively, perhaps the only bright spot came from a pair of Marques Buford Jr. interceptions that ensured Nebraska would win the turnover battle for the first time this season.

Apart from that, all aspects of the defense suffered greatly in Nebraska's 45-42 loss to Georgia Southern.

NU's defensive line routinely lost the line of scrimmage at the point of attack, and it's why Georgia Southern averaged 7.8 yards per carry. Meanwhile, quarterback Kyle Vantrease went 37-of-56 for 409 yards with an emphasis on quick passes that worked to great success.

The biggest beneficiary was Derwin Burgess Jr., who totaled 12 catches for 119 yards while two other Eagles hauled in five or more passes. It could be easy to point fingers or assign blame for such a poor defensive performance, but team captain Garrett Nelson is hoping to avoid that.

“Just can’t let this splinter us," Nelson said. "Obviously it’s a tough loss and not what we want, but we have 10 more games left. As a leader, (we) just have to keep coming back to work and doing the same things.”

There were plenty of positives to take from NU's offensive performance — namely another 100-yard rushing performance from Anthony Grant and a 300-yard day in the air for Casey Thompson.

But, those positives were all but absent on the defensive side of the ball. There will be regrouping and rebuilding to do in the coming days in Nebraska's locker room, but the Huskers can't do it divided as an offense and a defense.

“It’s a team when you win, it’s a team when you lose and we’ve got to keep it together," Frost said.

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