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Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Huskers Ready to Head to Ireland for Opener Against Northwestern

August 21, 2022

Nebraska is scheduled to depart for Dublin, Ireland, on Monday afternoon so the Huskers’ typical Monday press conference was moved up a day.

At this point, the planning for this one-of-a-kind trip is over–it’s about execution (as football always is). Frost said Nebraska has had long conversations about adjusting to the six-hour time difference, including conferring with representatives from NFL teams that have played in London recently. The Huskers will “black it out,” Scott Frost said of the plane, shortly after takeoff Monday afternoon, hoping to sync its sleep schedules ahead of the 5:30 p.m. local time kickoff on Saturday.

The Huskers will work out right away at the site of the game, Aviva Stadium, on Monday upon arrival, and hope to be on their usual practice schedule by Wednesday.

“We’ve been talking to our players a lot about handling this the right way and making sure it’s a business trip,” Frost said. “If we have enough work done and feel confident enough in what we’re doing going over there the more we can just enjoy another country, the culture over there, and just focus on the things we need to get done.”

Nebraska has shipped at least a portion of its equipment over to Ireland at this point.

“We hope we remembered everything,” Frost joked. “I don’t think we’re going to get caught without a mouthpiece or something like that.”

Nebraska is scheduled to return Sunday following its game against Northwestern. The Huskers host North Dakota the following Saturday, Sept. 3.

Saturday’s game in Ireland is one of 11 featuring at least one FBS team a week ahead of the regular start to the college football season.

“If I wasn’t coaching, I’d be dying to watch college football,” Frost said.

On to some other news and notes from Frost’s time at the podium.

>>On his monthly radio appearance earlier this week, Frost made reference to how many offensive linemen were getting sick during workouts, a sign, as it was pitched then, of the hard work being put in during fall camp. The tone struck some observers the wrong way, and Frost clarified those comments on Sunday.

“I was trying to portray how hard the o-line had been working and how proud I was of them,” he said. “I might’ve exaggerated puking a little bit, but the important thing is our training staff and weights staff do an extraordinary job of keeping me abreast of everything going on at practice. We have monitors, heart monitors, we know their complete output. We cut back practice if we think it’s getting too hard or guys have spent too much.”

>>On that same radio appearance, Frost said Texas transfer Casey Thompson will get the start at quarterback in Ireland. He’s the most experienced of the Huskers’ options having started 10 games for the Longhorns in 2021.

“The biggest thing I would point to with experience is just lack of mistakes,” Frost said. “Anytime you’re a new player there’s more mistakes than somebody who’s had experience.

“I think experience is going to be even more important when you’re going overseas to play in another country, different environment. This isn’t a home game. This is a completely different thing. He’s played a lot of college football.”

>>While Thompson has the experience edge in Nebraska’s quarterback room, Frost noted that the “talent gap” isn’t as big.

>>New offensive coordinator Mark Whipple prefers to call games from the sidelines, so that’s where he’ll be when the Huskers open the season.

>>Nebraska announced its four captains on Saturday, including three linebackers (or edge rushers, if you prefer, in the first two instances) Garrett Nelson, Caleb Tannor, Nick Henrich and tight end Travis Vokolek. Frost noted that two of those players, Nelson and Henrich, played their high school football in Nebraska. Vokolek grew up in Lincoln before playing high school football in Missouri.

That leaves Tannor––from Stone Mountain, Georgia––as something of an outlier, and maybe a surprise pick to fans, though voted in by his teammates.

“Caleb was one of the guys when he first got here, and this is a compliment, he was on a lot of lists for for missing things, being late,” Frost said. “I’ve seen very few guys that have come as far as he’s come. It speaks more to where he is now than where he started . . . Caleb has become a perfect teammate and a leader.”

>>Frost continued his consistent drumbeat of optimism around the 2022 Huskers. “I think this is the most talented and deepest group that we’ve had,” he said. “We just need to play well.”

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