LINCOLN — Nebraska Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst was perhaps the most popular interviewee after NU’s 21-17 loss to Northern Illinois.

Eichorst, who rarely talks about any Husker sport — including football — when it’s in season, broke that trend Saturday. He stood among a horde of reporters who asked for his reaction to the loss.

“A gamut of emotions,” Eichorst said. “I don’t think there’s any question that it’s not acceptable.”

Nebraska is 3-6 in its last nine games — dating back to a 23-17 loss to Wisconsin last season — and just 1-2 this year.

But Eichorst said he sees progress in the Husker program.

“It’s hard to, on the outside looking in, objectively to say that,” Eichorst said. “But I do see that on a lot of levels. I’m not concerned (about) the end of last season. My obligation is these young men in our program and our staff. We’ll be judged week-to-week on our performance. Today’s performance was not good enough.”

Eichorst said he didn’t get down for coach Mike Riley’s press conference, but presumed he said the same things.

“They have to do better,” Eichorst said. “The players have to do better. They have to prepare better for next week. Nobody’s feeling sorry for anybody. There’s no excuses to be made.

“We will work hard and hunker down and we have great leadership. I will provide leadership, as I have to this point and continue to stay positive. I’m very, very optimistic about what we have. We need to stay together and continue to make progress. We have to win games. That’s what we’re here to do and we didn’t get that done today.”

Asked what he’d tell the Husker fans who have doubts about NU’s progress, Eichorst said, “We’ve had fans who have had doubts since we brought Mike on board. But you’ve got to win ballgames, and nobody knows that more than him. But I have a lot of trust and faith in his abilities.”

Eichorst said fans should “hang in there.”

“Everybody’s gotta take it up a notch,” Eichorst said.

How would you grade Nebraska's performance against Northern Illinois?

Nebraska's defense allowed just one touchdown, but the Huskers nonetheless fell 21-17 to Northern Illinois. How would you grade NU's overall performance?

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