Dan McCarney saw two different things Saturday night.
He saw the good.
"There were times where I thought we played the best football we have all year," McCarney said after the Cyclones 28-14 loss to then-No. 22 Nebraska.
And then he saw the bad.
"There were times where I thought we left a lot to be desired," McCarney said.
But mostly what he saw was bad.
The loss drops Iowa State to 0-2 in the Big 12, effectively eliminating the team from the conference race with its next game coming at No. 23 Oklahoma.
"This shows us where we are," ISU quarterback Bret Meyer said. "We're halfway done with the season and we know where we are right now. As an offense we have to regroup."
Undefeated Missouri's, Iowa State's fellow Big 12 North opponent, only big game remaining is against Oklahoma, while Nebraska faces Texas. All indications point to the Nov. 4 Nebraska-Missouri game deciding the champion of the North.
Iowa State was dominated by the Huskers in nearly all phases of the game:
Nebraska quarterback Zac Taylor went 17-of-21 for 131 yards and a score. He was 5-of-5 in the second half, as the Huskers rushed on 24 of their 29 offensive plays.
The ISU defense entered the game letting opponents complete nearly 75 percent of their passes. Taylor passed at an 81 percent clip, as the Cyclones struggled to get a consistent pass rush, giving the quarterback plenty of time to make his throws.
Two backs for the Huskers rushed for more than 100 yards as Nebraska gained 251 yards rushing as a team. Cody Glenn (148 yards) and Brandon Jackson (116 yards) had their way with the ISU defense. The output was career highs for both players.
"They're great backs," McCarney said. "They're fast and physical and keep coming at you."
Iowa State, on the other hand, couldn't get things going on the ground. Meyer was the team's leading rusher with 26 yards and Stevie Hicks gained just 21 yards on six carries.
This was the third straight game in which the Cyclones team failed to rush for 100 yards.
"Part of it was getting behind and kind of had to be one dimensional but obviously you want to establish the run a little more then that," Meyer said.
Iowa State had seven offensive possessions in the second half, and could only manage one score out of it.
The Cyclones were forced to punt twice, had a pass intercepted and turned the ball over on downs three times.
"In that second half, how many chances we had, the defense played their butts off and we didn't do our part," Meyer said.
"It's frustrating right now."
After getting the ball at the Nebraska 14 thanks to a fumble, Iowa State was unable to score, attempting a fake field goal that was stopped well short of the first down marker.
"We have to put up a lot more points then we are now," Meyer said.