The Huskers are getting used to handling adversity.
This year has provided opportunities for them to be tested mentally and physically. The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is still being felt around the country. Big Ten football is obviously not exempt from that. The Huskers felt it even more last week. They were part of the first game to be canceled due to a rise in cases at Wisconsin. The roller coaster of a week continued after the team tried to find a game to play but was denied by the Big Ten.
That is all tough enough to deal with. There was something else added to the stress for the coaching staff in this situation. The game being canceled on Halloween weekend. That weekend is typically filled with social activities. Scott Frost gave his thoughts Monday on how he thought his team handled navigating that.
“I think well,” Frost said. “You know we had a scary movie night on Halloween to try to keep our guys from going to parties and doing some dumb things, and we had a lot of the team show up. We’ve officially set a record for most practices with one game under your belt in the history of college football. There’s no question about that, but I think the guys were learning to roll with the punches.”
Nebraska’s players including quarterback Adrian Martinez spoke about the need to take personal responsibility to stay as safe as possilble. The team has worked hard to follow protocols and stay safe. Offensive line coach Greg Austin commented on how the team handled the last week.
“Those guys, we’ve been doing this since March. We’ve been rolling with the punches and outlasting the obstacles throughout this whole journey,” Austin said.
“Us getting the game cancelled against Wisconsin was another speedbump. It was a big speedbump now with it being Halloween weekend. We know all the social festivities that come along with that. I thought our guys did a really good job with that. You can tell with how our team has responded on the field.”
Austin also credited the daily rapid testing for the Huskers avoiding a big wave of infections from COVID-19 so far. There has been focus on caring about the team and their teammates more than their personal interests over the past weekend. The team has taken a professional attitude towards the whole process. That has Austin excited.
It will be interesting to see if the attention to detail and team-building that has gone on during these last few months has an impact for the Huskers on the field. Building the right culture of accountability has been a priority for Frost. There’s been so much talk of improving the culture since arriving in Lincoln. We have seen evidence that a better culture is taking shape in Lincoln. Hopefully the team gets a chance to take a step toward showing how it all comes together on the field this weekend against Northwestern.
They’ve surely had enough practice handling adversity outside of games.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.