Cam Jurgens curses sometimes. It’s rare—at least in a press conference setting—but some words are warranted every so often. During fall camp, for example, Jurgens spoke about Nebraska’s need to get “the right guys in here.” He mentioned the need for a “gritty attitude” that emulated the Pipeline of Huskers past.
That comment also included a note about “kicking ass” and playing tough. It was warranted in context to what he was trying to say and just added a little extra emphasis to his point. Still, it was a fairly tame comment.
On Saturday, coming off a 30-22 loss to Illinois where Nebraska’s offensive line struggled in more ways than one, Jurgens was a little more candid.
“We want to flip the script, we don’t want to have that shit happen over and over again, we’re tired of it,” Jurgens said. “We want to win some games. When we have these catastrophic errors and shit goes wrong, we need to flip something in our head. We need fighters on this team. The more you fight, the more effort you put in, fuck, maybe the ball goes your way every once in a while and you get a little luck.
“But you have to find that will, you have to will that game.”
Jurgens didn’t hesitate in his answers. You can watch the moment for yourself, but it doesn’t seem like Jurgens cares much if anyone is bothered by his frankness. Nebraska’s play against Illinois deserved it.
The Huskers’ offensive line was less than stellar against the Illini, especially in the run game. Quarterback Adrian Martinez was Nebraska’s leading rusher on Saturday, rushing for 111 yards. Running back Gabe Ervin Jr. only had 12 carries for 33 yards. He averaged 2.8 yards per carry. The running back room as a whole only had 54 yards on 19 carries.
Martinez shouldn’t be running like he is. His runs against Illinois were mostly undesigned too, with Martinez scrambling to keep plays alive. The quarterback was sacked five times, while hurried for another four. When you take out Martinez’s 75-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter, Nebraska averaged only 2.24 yards per rush on 38 attempts.
Beyond that, Nebraska went nearly two quarters against Illinois without a single carry. That’s rough. And then there’s time of possession, which Illinois had nearly 10 more minutes than Nebraska on Saturday.
Maybe some of this had to do with inexperience on the offensive line. Brant Banks, for example, made his first career start at left tackle on Saturday. Turner Corcoran replaced him after 14 plays. Maybe some of it had nothing to do with the offensive line, depending on the play calls by coach Scott Frost and the offensive coaches. Even Martinez has to shoulder some of the mishaps, as his decision-making wasn’t perfect either.
Whatever the case, it all adds to up to that moment post-game when Jurgens just said exactly what he thought. Curse words and all. For everything else that was said following Nebraska’s loss, Jurgens’ was certainly the most blunt.
Words mean little until action backs them up. It’s worth noting though. Not because curse words are rare in athletics, but because Jurgens is a leader of this team and people listen when he talks. Tight end and captain Austin Allen noted that earlier in the week, saying he could have easily been selected by the team for the same role.
Jurgens’ words rang through the press box hours after he said them. “Did you hear that?” a few people asked before replaying his quotes once again. Yes, Cam Jurgens curses some times. It’s not about the curse words though. It’s about the passion and message that go alongside them, and ultimately what a team does from there.
“We just need to make shit happen,” Jurgens said.
Yes, Nebraska does.
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.