11.08.2011 / The Huskers relinquish control of championships with home losses . Blog posting by Mike Babcock, Huskers Illustrated Magazine.

A week ago the Nebraska football team controlled its own destiny. If the Huskers were to win their four remaining regular season games they would play in the Big Ten championship game at Indianapolis on Dec. 3. They did not have to rely on anyone except themselves.

"The rallying cry is we want to go win 10 games, said sophomore offensive tackle Jeremiah Sirles "

That has changed following Saturday’s 28-25 loss against Northwestern. They’ll need some help to get there now. They’ll need some help, even if they win out.

“The rallying cry is we want to go win 10 games,” sophomore offensive tackle Jeremiah Sirles said at Monday’s weekly news conference. “If you can win 10 games, that’s usually a pretty successful season. We want to go out there and win 10 games and hopefully, try and go to Indianapolis, win 11 games, and hopefully go the bowl game and try to win 12 games. I mean, that’s the ultimate goal.

“And that’s what we’ve got to keep pushing for. Our goal’s still out there. Yeah, we need some things to happen, but ultimately, if we don’t take care of us, there’s no way it can happen.”

Michigan State leads the Legends Division with a 4-1 conference record, with Nebraska, Michigan and Iowa all tied for second with 3-2 records. The Huskers have the tie-breaker with Michigan State, but the Spartans would have to lose one three remaining games even if Nebraska were to win out.

“We were all pretty frustrated,” Sirles said of the Northwestern loss. “We were all pretty hard on ourselves, which I think was good. We went and watched film and we realized that ‘Hey, we’ve got a lot better football out there for us to play that we need to keep pushing to find.’ ”

He and his teammates accepted responsibility for the upset-loss. There was no pointing of fingers. That’s how it is at Nebraska, he said. “I think everyone points the thumb.” For example, running back Rex Burkhead took the blame following the game.

“Rex is going to say, ‘I didn’t hit the holes,’ and we’re going to say we didn’t open them wide enough. That’s just the nature of this program,” said Sirles, who played most of the second half.

“No one’s going to sit there and be like, ‘Yeah, it’s Rex’s fault,’ or ‘It’s Taylor’s (Martinez) fault,’ or ‘It’s (Mike) Caputo’s fault.’ I mean, it’s ‘My fault. I didn’t do everything I possibly could to get it done.’ It was a team loss.  No one person lost this game, no one side of the ball, no one unit. It was a definite team loss, so I think that’s just where Rex is coming from on that, is pointing the thumb, not the finger.”  And now, the Huskers need some help.

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