Paint this loss yellow.
Dip the brush deep into the paint that looks a lot like the flags that littered the Memorial Stadium turf, just like they have all season, that killed momentum for Nebraska or sparked it for Purdue.
Saturday saw Nebraska match its season high in penalties with 11. Its 136 yards were by far the most this season, and the 12th-most in any FBS game this year.
"I'm tired of looking at it," said a visibly fed-up Husker coach Scott Frost afterward.
It was too early in the day to tell whether Nebraska would exit the weekend as the most-penalized Power Five conference team in the nation. But if the Huskers aren't, they're going to be close.
In its current state, Nebraska ranks with the likes of South Alabama, Arkansas State and New Mexico State among the most-penalized teams in the entire country.
Nebraska has played four games, and committed double-digit penalties in each.
"Every time we've addressed what we need to address we find another way to shoot ourselves in the foot," Frost said. "But it all comes down to caring enough to do it right. … People that do all those things the right way are winners, and they win. We have a bunch of them on this team. We have a bunch of them. We're doing enough little things wrong that we can't overcome it right now."
Nebraska is doing the big things, too. Six times the Huskers committed a penalty that gave Purdue a first down. Five of those penalties were personal fouls. One call, a defensive-holding penalty on Lamar Jackson, got the junior yanked out of the game and glued to the bench for the entire second half.
Now, some of the calls were, to be diplomatic, questionable: holding calls on receivers Stanley Morgan and Tyjon Lindsey. A personal foul on defensive lineman Freedom Akinmoladun on which it appeared he was blocked into Purdue quarterback David Blough.
But when your reputation precedes you, benefit of the doubt tends to shrink considerably.
"On both sides of the ball, we’ve just got to be a smarter team overall, and that’s what Coach Frost preached," said defensive back Eric Lee. "We’re shooting ourselves in the foot. We have a long third down, third-and-forever, and we shoot ourselves in the foot with that roughing-the-passer. So we’ve just got to make smart plays all around."
It takes a certain level of brain power to avoid the same mistakes over and over. But the effort has to match the thought process, said one of NU's senior leaders.
"Sometimes it’s effort,” senior linebacker Luke Gifford said. “Block in the back, stuff like that, it’s just crazy, you know? There’s a technique that we teach in how to avoid that. So don’t do it. Don’t be lazy and push a guy in the back instead of doing the technique you’re taught to."
It's a fix that, clearly, won't happen overnight. But four games into the season, one would think a team would show improvement. Instead, NU seems to be stuck in neutral.
"I think the biggest thing is, coaches can preach it all they want. But like I had a coach before tell me, there’s nothing like peer pressure," Lee said. "So it’s got to be on the players. We’ve got to hold each other to a better standard and have more accountability. We can’t continue to have all these mistakes. So I think once the players start harping on it more, I think the penalties will start to go down."