Husker head coach Scott Frost met with the media Thursday for the last availability before the team plays Illinois (2-1) on the road Saturday to open Big Ten play. Maybe one of the more pressing issues facing Nebraska (2-1) at this time is the injury situation regarding a few starters on both sides of the ball. Frost addressed (sort of) those player statuses and more on Thursday.
>> With sophomore Barret Pickering, the Huskers’ only scholarship kicker, still dealing with an unknown injury, Nebraska added a walk-on kicker from the club soccer team in Matt Waldoch.
A 6-foot, 170-pound sophomore from Geneva, Illinois, played both football and soccer in high school. Frost said last week they had approached the club team to see if anyone had football experience in their high school background, and it appears Waldoch is the guy who won that spot.
He will not travel with the team to Illinois this weekend, though. Per Big Ten rules, traveling teams may bring 74 players with them and Frost said the Huskers’ decision at kicker would come down to punter Isaac Armstrong (2-for-5 so far this season on field goal tries) and walk-on safety Lane McCallum (3-for-3 on PATs against NIU).
>> Just like with Pickering, Frost provided no real update to the status of either left tackle Brenden Jaimes or do-everything defensive back Cam Taylor-Britt. Jaimes (leg) and Taylor-Britt (shoulder) were both injured against the Huskies last Saturday and practiced to varying degrees throughout the week.
Taylor-Britt had a green non-contact jersey on as late as Wednesday but ditched the shirt on Thursday. Offensive line coach Greg Austin said Jaimes was a limited participant in practice, but he took contact.
>> Junior college transfer defensive lineman Jahkeem Green is close, Frost says, to getting on the field but right now the Huskers' have a defensive line rotation firing on all cylinders, and short of an unsightly injury, Green is probably headed for a redshirt because of it.
"He's got a ton of talent so we're excited about him," Frost said. "If we can just play him in four and have two years left with him, that's the direction we'd like to go, but you never know how the season's going to unfold."
>> "It's been higher than I want it to be," Frost said of the Huskers' defensive plays faced this season. Only four other programs have played more defensive snaps then the Huskers through three weeks, and Frost said that's a combination of a lack of rhythm and execution on offense (bad) and big plays leading to quicker-than-usual drives (a good thing in Frost's eyes).
>> Nebraska has one open scholarship left. Frost said they'll address what they do with that next week.
>> Frost says "we'd like to get Luke McCaffrey some run in one of these games." Frost said the plan is still to redshirt him but he'd like to see the true freshman quarterback "get his feet wet" in his first year on campus.
That's obviously made a little more difficult by the guy immediately above him on the quarterback depth chart, sophomore Noah Vedral, who Frost really likes.
"Noah runs and operates our offense really well," Frost said of the Huskers' primary backup. "The tempo is great with Noah, the decisions are crisp, a lot of that has to do with his time in our offense. This is his third year running this and he's as familiar as anybody.
"His arm's gotten a lot stronger since he first came to us. His accuracy's better, I think he's faster, I think he's stronger. Noah Vedral's a good quarterback."
Vedral went 3-for-5 for 30 yards throwing in a relief effort last Saturday against NIU and ran in a 3-yard touchdown to cap the Huskers' 44-point day on offense.
>> Context-free quote of the week from Frost: "I'm a dinosaur."
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.