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In case you missed it, the Nebraska-Miami football game Saturday turned out to be quite the battle.

Miami jumped out to a 17-0 lead after a quarter and led 33-10 early in the fourth. NU stormed back to force overtime only to lose.

The nation yawned. Husker Nation cussed.

This was just the latest battle for the Big Red to return to relevance. And it was the latest opportunity to slip by in tantalizing, maddening fashion.

Look: the win over South Alabama was nice and all for getting the Mike Riley era into the win column — and erasing the nasty taste of the BYU game to start the season — but honestly, nobody cares. Those don’t get you back into the national spotlight as a title  contender, whether it be for the national championship or even for the conference crown. It’s games like BYU and Miami that we as Husker fans care about. And it’s those games that determine whether you’re on the road to respect or spinning your wheels as an also-ran.

And what’s concerning is the problems NU has had the past, oh, 15 years or so haven’t departed with the new coaching staff now on board.

Dumb penalties? Yep. Questionable play-calling, bad positioning? Mmm-hmm. Taking too long to get engaged in the game? More of an issue against Miami than BYU, but remember that second quarter against the Cougars? And did you listen to Nate Gerry, who said issues in practice carried over to the Miami game?

I have to breathe. Stuff like this doesn’t change overnight. But don’t tell me there’s a lot of hope after another kick to the gut like the Miami game. Hope for what? More of the same? Because that’s exactly what we got. And we have the loss to prove it.

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