Nebraska has now lost 10 games by less than one score in the Scott Frost era. “A loss is a loss,” wide receiver Kade Warner said on Monday, and that means the Huskers “gotta earn it” going forward.
In fact, that’s what Frost tells the team.
“Frost says, ‘You get what you earn,’ so we gotta go into practice this week and earn it,” Warner said.
Part of earning it will be looking at various positions. Frost said there would be a number of positions battling this week, and that includes quarterback. That also means there’s no decision yet on who will start between Adrian Martinez and Luke McCaffrey.
“It’s going to have to develop,” Frost said.
Frost spoke with Martinez after the Northwestern matchup about decision-making and processing what he’s seeing a bit faster. The plan for the Husker QBs now is to work on “eliminating the plays that are killing us on drives” and the few plays that will “kill you in a game.” From there, whoever practices better over the week ahead will get the nod to start.
As for the wide receivers, Warner had a couple of items he identified that need to be worked on before Penn State comes to town. That includes the red zone, which Warner said needs the most immediate improvement for the offense.
“I think we’re going to have some new plays and some new periods in practice to get better at that,” Warner said.
For linebacker Collin Miller, he felt the defense played well enough to beat Northwestern but there’s always work that can be done. A win over the Nittany Lions, for instance, “could get the ball rolling.” That motivation “could be the movement that we need to get going,” from Miller’s perspective, so that’s what the Huskers are focused on over the next week.
For as much as the players are focused on that confidence, Frost is right there with them. He knows Nebraska didn’t play its best against Northwestern—and there were plenty of frustrating moments—but he feels once it flips, it’ll be a big deal.
Until it does though, the team will remain focused on keeping their confidence and keeping it high until the wins follow.
“I think they realize that’s the situation they’re in,” Frost said. “Sooner or later, the scoreboard is going to show it. There’s no doubt in my mind how much progress we’ve made but we need to turn it into wins.”
Maybe it was Marquel Dismuke who said it best.
“We can’t put our heads down and go half-ass,” he said. “I mean, half-speed, my bad.”
The Huskers are set to face Penn State on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT.
More news and notes:
>> Warner has full belief in both of his quarterbacks. That’s true no matter how either played against Northwestern.
“Unwavering belief in both of them,” Warner said.
“Those are both great human beings and great football players,” he said. “We trust them both.”
>> Cam Jurgens is “day-to-day,” according to Frost. Matt Farniok started in his place against Northwestern.
>> Luke Reimer had a great day against Northwestern, despite the loss. Miller said he’s glad everyone gets to see what the team sees every day in practice.
“He’s just one of those guys that has an itch to get to the ball,” Miller said.
He also called Reimer once of the most athletic guys in the room, giving him plenty of praise for what he brings to the team.
“His vertical’s crazy,” Miller said. “His speed’s crazy. His football IQ is through the roof.”
>> A number of young wide receivers saw playing time against Northwestern. That included Marcus Fleming, Alante Brown, Zavier Betts and Omar Manning.
“It’s been a long time coming for those guys,” Warner said.
Speaking of young players, senior Ben Stille has also been impressed with the young defensive players too. He’s seen a number come in and make an impact, calling them consistent so far.
>> Frost said Ronald Thompkins missed a few practices, which is why he wasn’t available against Northwestern.
He said he liked how hard Marvin Scott III ran on his first few carries when asked to step up. “That’s going to continue to be a competition,” he said.
>> How much pressure does Frost put on himself. “Too much,” he said. He added that he loves the state and program.
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.