Mailbag: What Can Nebraska Football Learn From Nebraska Volleyball?
Photo Credit: Aaron Babcock

Mailbag: What Can Nebraska Football Learn From Nebraska Volleyball?

November 09, 2017

Hail Varsity's Brandon Vogel, Greg Smith, Jacob Padilla and Derek Peterson are back for another week to answer your Husker questions.

Mr. Moos has identified the volleyball team as the standard for all husker sports. What can the football players and staff (old/new) learn from them? (@Corn_Huskers)

BV: There are many potential lessons there so I’ll just highlight two that I think are vitally important. Nebraska volleyball has a mantra – “two points better” – that can seem like a small bit of language, but I think it’s pretty powerful. Rather than focusing on an enormous task, say beating Penn State on the road, the volleyball team consistently hears “be two points better.” It takes the massive and makes it manageable. I think most great coaches have a way of conveying this, but over the last three years I’ve never heard anything along those lines coming from the football side. And with mammoth expectations for the football program it seems particularly important.

I’ll let Moos himself explain the second. I asked him about the volleyball program in an interview a few weeks ago, and one of the things he mentioned as a strength was that the players displayed a “feeling within them that this was passed down to me, it’s my responsibility to work to make sure we stay where we’re at so we can pass it down to the next generation. You think back and that was the mentality of Nebraska football through the glory years and certainly can be again, but it’s already in place with volleyball.”

That feels like a pretty good start.

If Frost comes home, does any asst keep their job? …if Riley is granted a stay, does he fire any asst? (@Omahadirtbag07)

JP: This is a discussion we had on the message board not too long ago. I’ll leave the whole staff to those more knowledgeable than myself but if I had to venture a guess I’d say if any current assistant has a chance at sticking around if Frost gets the job, it would be John Parrella. His tie is to the university rather than Mike Riley and his staff, and the team’s young defensive linemen have shown significant potential under his tutelage. Frost’s defensive line coach at Central Florida, Mike Dawson, doesn’t seem to have super close ties to Frost from what I can tell. As for Riley getting another year, I can’t see him bringing the staff back as is.

BV: Frost has demonstrated on numerous occasions how much he values his assistants, and they are a pretty interesting collection of people Frost has worked with during his various stops. He’s got Nebraska guys and Stanford guys, Northern Iowa and Oregon coaches. He seems to have a good eye for what he needs and what will work with his system. He did also retain two (I think) UCF coaches when he arrived, so it’s not impossible but it’s always unlikely with any coaching change. I think Jacob is right, Parrella’s the best bet.

GS: Because I agree with everything Brandon said, I will also throw one thing in. Donte Williams would have a shot not just because of his recruiting ability but also for continuity and because he doesn’t have deep ties to Riley. The DBs have had too many coaches over the last 5 years so that could work in his favor. I do not see a scenario where Riley is retained but if he is, no way the staff comes back as is.

For whatever reason, Riley likes to give the rock to Freshman RB's near the end of the season (Devine in 15, Bryant in 16). If Bradley’s ankle holds up, is this his coming out party verse a poor tackling Gophers defense? (@TheWeeksy)

DP: Could be. Bradley looked very solid against Purdue a few weeks ago and gave Nebraska a nice shot of adrenaline, and Minnesota did just give up 371 yards rushing to Michigan, but that was more aberration than norm. Minnesota’s defense hasn’t been the issue this year, the offense has. Still, if Bradley is healthy, he’s probably still a No. 2 behind Ozigbo.

Should Husker fans stop having expectations in the preseason? No expectations means no disappointment right? (@IBeLionsBeats)

DP: I mean… But, that brings up another good question: should there be expectations at all before a team starts playing meaningful games? Eh. I keep going back to Florida State and their preseason No. 3 ranking. Yes, losing your quarterback hurts, but that team has had issues all year that nobody expected to see. If Tanner Lee hadn’t been billed as the second coming of Peyton Manning (he did look really good…), maybe this season is a little easier to swallow?

BV: No. No expectations means you’re Indiana.

GS: No. I’d never want Husker football to enter that dangerous territory. Earn big expectations and then work to live up to them. I’d welcome Alabama or Ohio State-type expectations because it typically means you are good.

What will we think about this NW loss later on if they finish up with a 9-10 win season? (@CoryHonold)

JP: Honestly, I don’t think people will look at it too differently. I think the reason for the reaction after the loss had a lot more to do with the losses leading up to the Northwestern game and the multiple chances to win the game more so than the loss itself. It’s just another game that the Huskers couldn’t pull out under RIley.

DP: Jacob hits on it right at the very end: it’s the way Nebraska lost. Plenty of chances to win, plenty of chances to separate in the game, plenty of chances to take another step forward and make these last three games easier. They didn’t get it done. That fact won’t change if Northwestern wins out.

BV: Good losses are only good if the loser is good. Make sense? Notre Dame losing to Georgia? “Good” loss. The 58th-best team according to Sagarin (Nebraska) losing to the 28th-best team (Northwestern) on top of five or six other losses? That’s just something that should’ve happened.

If Bob Diaco ever tweeted much, would 280 characters even be close to enough for him? (@AsianJoeEvans)

JP: That’s a good question. Part of me wonders if a big part of Diaco’s long-windedness is him just getting lost in what he’s saying because he repeats himself A LOT. I think if he could see what he’s already typed, some of that repetition would be eliminated.

DP: I actually had to go back and look at Twitter to see if he had an account. I wish he tweeted more, he’d be on mobile notifications.

BV: I’m actually surprised there isn’t a parody account that only tweets out Diaco transcripts as tweet threads. Derek transcribed Tuesday’s monologue and it was about 2,800 words. Don’t know how many characters that is, but let’s just assume it would be about a 250-tweet thread.

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