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During Bo Pelini's postgame media session Saturday night, the first question asked was what he told his team after a game where victory wasn't secured against a four-touchdown underdog until the final two minutes.

"I said, ‘Good win, 2-0,'" Pelini responded.

You can be certain Nebraska's coach saw plenty that needed repairing during the team's 42-29 win against Fresno State.

But while acknowledging the deficiencies, Pelini had a fairly upbeat tone after the game. And he joined several players and coaches in pointing out that it was encouraging how the team responded to adversity.

Husker offensive coordinator Tim Beck was among those pleased with that aspect.

"Players never wavered," Beck said. "They had a lot of faith. I think that those guys are in a good place inside knowing, ‘Hey, we're OK.' They just never showed any signs of panic. The coaches never did. And it's a good thing, because you can certainly do that."

At halftime, trailing 17-14, Pelini said he told his team "we're going to find out what this football team wants to be."

Redshirt freshman wide receiver Kenny Bell smiled when asked about Pelini's halftime talk.

"You guys know Bo," Bell said. "I mean, he got after us. But it's never in a way that brings us down. It's in a way that you know you're a better football player, better football team and you have to show that.

"We had no excuse for that first half and we came out the second half, turned it loose and had some fun. Now, there's still a ton to get better on."

Both ends of the spectrum: Nebraska's special teams certainly rode a roller coaster Saturday.

The night started rough, when Fresno State's Devon Wylie returned a punt 67 yards for a score. Nebraska hadn't given up a punt return for a touchdown since 2001, when Texas Tech's Wes Welker brought one back.

"To give up a score is probably the worst thing we could have on special teams and it's got to get fixed," said John Papuchis, Nebraska's special-teams coordinator. "Now, what the actual issues are, until I watch the film I won't really know. But it's something that needs to be fixed and it will be fixed."

But Papuchis' group got the score back in the fourth quarter when Ameer Abdullah returned a kickoff 100 yards to give Nebraska a 35-26 cushion.

The coach was hardly surprised by Abdullah's play.

"Any time he touches the ball, I think he has the chance to break it. He's that kind of special guy," Papuchis said. "The key to being special on return units is having the ability to at least make one guy miss."

Abdullah certainly did that. Fresno State kicker Andrew Shapiro found out the hard way on an Abdullah shake-and-bake move that left Shapiro falling down, grasping at air.

Here he comes again: It might be tough for Lavonte David to reach 152 tackles again. But if he keeps putting together 15-tackle games like he did Saturday, who's to say?

Will Compton also had 15 tackles. And Daimion Stafford, who got the start at safety ahead of Courtney Osborne, had 11.

Compton played most of the game after playing just one series in the opener, when he injured an ankle.

He admitted the ankle was a little sore after Saturday's game, but that was expected.

"It's a daily process, but a little bit each day it's felt better and better," he said. "It held up pretty well."

Pain in the trenches: Starting left tackle Yoshi Hardrick posted on Twitter after the game that he dislocated a finger.

It wasn't enough to keep him sidelined long. Jeremiah Sirles briefly replaced Hardrick after the first-half injury, but the senior Hardrick returned and finished out the game.

Looking ahead: Washington will come to Memorial Stadium this Saturday with a 2-0 record, fresh off a 40-32 home win against Hawaii.

UW's offense clicked into gear after a somewhat disappointing opener against Eastern Washington, a game the Huskies were fortunate to win by three points.

But Week 2 was a big improvement for Washington quarterback Keith Price, who threw for a career-high 315 yards.

He also received help from running back Chris Polk, who dented the Huskers in the Holiday Bowl. Polk had 107 yards on 22 carries against Hawaii.

Reach Brian Christopherson at bchristopherson@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. You can follow him on Twitter @HuskerExtraBC.