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Nebraska's chances for a conference championship are gone. With two regular season games left, it's about bowl pecking order for the players and even more important - themselves.

LINCOLN, Neb. - Nebraska sophomore linebacker David Santos had a strong message for anyone that says otherwise – the season is not over.

"We still have a lot to work on. I don't plan on losing to Penn State. I don't think anyone else is either. We have to take that mindset tomorrow," said Santos. "It's simple, it's about being a man. Are you going to back down just because you aren't in the position you want? Are you going to accept failure? Or are you going to work to win each and every game. That's the kind of mentality we have to take. As far as a bowl game, I'm not sure what will happen, but I'm sure the more wins we have the better the bowl game we will be in. That I guess is incentive."

Nebraska's goal of playing in their second consecutive Big Ten title game was thrown out the window on Saturday, losing to Michigan State 41-28. For the first time since losing in Ann Arbor to Michigan in November of 2011, the Huskers are playing a conference game with no chance of making it to Indy.

"We are playing for the love of the game and our love for one another," said sophomore running back Imani Cross. "We have enough integrity to play the same exact way, no matter if it's in practice, a game, spring ball, fall camp, or a Big Ten title. We don't change the way we play for the circumstances. That's what integrity is. We have a lot of leaders that exemplify that. Nothing is going to change.

"We are tightly knit group that loves each other a lot. We are brothers. Just like in a family, when tough times come, you stick together and keep fighting. That's what we are going to do."

The fight will continue Sunday as the Huskers hit the practice field once again in preparation for Penn State.

"You have to finish strong. You have to get those guys prepared to win out and win the bowl game," said senior cornerback Ciante Evans. "I know that we can't go to the Big Ten Championship, but you can still win out your season and finish with a winning record and win a bowl game."

A resilient attitude from Evans – a trait that starts with head coach Bo Pelini.

"We'll respond the same way we always do," said receiver Kenny Bell. "We're used to it around here. We just have to come in and hammer our work again. Losses are something that every team experiences. How you rebound and how resilient you are is a reflection of your head coach, and I think we've proven ourselves to be pretty resilient. We're going to come in tomorrow and watch the film just as if we had won 35-0 today, and we're going to get better. We're going to get ready to go play at Happy Valley."

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Josh Harvey has covered college football and recruiting for Fox Sports & since 2008. He is now the Publisher of Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics.
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