Nebraska (0-0) hosts Colorado (1-0) this week. Just know that Scott Frost is as let down by those zeroes next to “Nebraska” as you are.
“We’re just disappointed,” Frost said Monday. “It’s been a lot of hard work. We got all dressed up for nothing. The guys were ready to play. More than anything, I was proud of how they reacted to it. They handled the delay like pros. A couple of the guys were yelling out ‘let’s just play in the Hawks,’ which would’ve been epic but probably not safe.”
Heavy thunderstorms last Saturday forced the first cancelation of a Nebraska football game since 1943. Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos and Akron AD Larry Williams offered their perspectives on the cancelation Sunday, but Monday’s press conference was the first chance to hear from Frost on what was a long night without much football at Memorial Stadium.
He, too, mentioned the logistical concerns of finding a place for Akron’s players and staff to stay as biggest hurdle to the proposed Sunday morning kickoff.
“One of the downsides, if there is one, of having so many fans here interested is there’s no hotels in town that could service either team,” Frost said. “We were scrambling and trying to find a place for them to stay. We kind of found a place, but it certainly wouldn’t have been ideal for his team to not know where they’re eating, not know where they’re staying, not know where everybody is.”
Given all of those concerns, Frost sympathized with coach Terry Bowden’s dilemma.
“I wish they would’ve agreed to play on Sunday so we could’ve gotten the game in, but if I was in his shoes I’m not sure I would’ve made any different decision,” Frost said.
Nebraska’s staff has been through postponements and cancellations before. In 2016 Central Florida was scheduled to face Tulane on Friday, Oct. 7, but Hurricane Matthew pushed that game back to Nov. 5, a bye week for both teams.
Last season the Knights had their Week 3 matchup against Georgia Tech in Orlando canceled due to Hurricane Irma. As that game followed a bye for UCF, the Knights then played 11 consecutive games without an off week to claim the AAC title.
Nebraska has two options if it hopes to add a 12th game to the 2018 schedule. Akron and Nebraska could play in Week 14 (Dec. 1) if either team needed a sixth win for bowl eligibility. The Huskers could also explore scheduling a game for Oct. 27, currently a bye week, if Nebraska could find an opponent who has an open date that week and isn’t already scheduled to play 12 games.
The latter options would mean Nebraska would go without a bye week in the 2018 regular season.
“At this point any scenario isn’t ideal,” Frost said. “Playing 12 straight weeks certainly isn’t ideal for any team. Depth is a little bit of an issue for us at certain positions and it’s certainly not ideal for us. I know that they’re kind of researching and looking into all options, given the choice these guys have worked so hard they deserve to play a full slate of games. If they give us an option to fill that game in somewhere, we’re going to take it.”
The Huskers returned to the practice field Monday to being preparation for Colorado. The Buffaloes won impressively in their opening week, beating Colorado State 45-13 in Denver.
But Frost was impressed by his team’s mindset throughout the cancelation and it continued during the Huskers return to the practice field.
“We had one of the best Monday’s I’ve ever seen a team have today,” he said. “We’re on the right track.”