Nebraska coach Scott Frost has been clear about his weekly goals for his team: get a little better day by day. On Thursday, Frost shared that the Huskers accomplished that goal for the week.
"I said we got to get better day by day," Frost said. "I think we got better this week."
While Nebraska may have improved, the Huskers still have a big challenge ahead against Wisconsin on Saturday. There's been a lot of talk about the Badgers' discipline this week, which is something Nebraska would like to improve upon because Wisconsin isn't a team that beats itself.
"It's a challenge," Frost said. "I remember being at Oregon and playing Stanford when they were really good. I remember one drive we had where we should have scored and we didn't get the ball back for about 30 minutes of actual time. Shoot, I could have left the press box and gone out to dinner and come back and still been there in time to call the next series. So, we've got to be efficient with the snaps we get. You get in a game like that and your defense gets you some stops, and gets you the ball back, that's when you've got a chance … Our defense has to step up and do well and our offense has to be efficient when we have it."
Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez has turned the Badgers' program around. He did so by using much of Nebraska's old blueprint for winning. There's plenty of history there between the two programs as a result, but Frost doesn't want to focus on that.
He wants Wisconsin to be just like any other opponent the Huskers will face.
"I've said this often. They look a lot like Nebraska used to look and like we want to look in some ways," Frost said. "So there's some things I think that will be familiar to the guys. But it's got to be a nameless, faceless opponent every week. We're playing against our former selves. We just have to be better than we have been."
Other news and notes
>> Wide receiver depth is a concern for Nebraska, especially after the departure of Tyjon Lindsey. However, Frost feels good about how some of the backup wide receivers performed in practice this week.
He still needs more players to get healthy and be able to contribute sooner rather than later.
"We got to get Andre Hunt back healthy. He was starting to show progress," Frost said. "We're really thin at that position. Can't keep those guys out there that long, so we desperately need some of those guys to step up and be ready. Saw some improvement."
Frost also made note of Jaron Woodyard for stepping up.
>> With Lindsey gone, could Nebraska see more JD Speilman at punt returner? It's possible, because Frost does see him as the best option at punt returner right now. However, Frost wants to be careful with how he utilizes wide receivers.
"Our depth isn't where we want it," he said. "We've got to be careful with a lot of them not to run them into the ground, especially considering we're going to have to play 12 weeks in a row."
>> What about freshman wide receiver Miles Jones?
"For a freshman to play, more than talent, [it's about] how ready they are, how mature they are, how ready they are to attack things and treat things like a pro," Frost said. "Miles does really good things. It's got to be consistent. We just can't put somebody out there until they're completely ready.
"I think Miles is getting close, but we got to feel good about him being completely ready to be in that environment before we put him out there, just like any other freshman."
>> How does Frost feel about the players that choose to transfer mid-season? From his perspective, it probably means the player and team don't share the same priorities.
"If a kid leaves in the middle of the season, not saying anything bad about anybody, but we're trying to preach team first," Frost said. "Anytime you're a part of something that's bigger than yourself, it's special and I want the kids to feel that. I kind of feel like any kid who leaves in the middle of the season doesn't have those priorities."
>> It can be difficult for any staff to start the season like Nebraska has. However, the Huskers' staff isn't letting the 0-4 record affect them as a group and what they want to accomplish at Nebraska long-term.
"Our staff is like family. We have been through a hard year before. We lean on each other and that's great," Frost said. "Usually you go outside the building, you're going to get some real positive things and some negative. None of that matters. It's all about what's in this building. This group of men are high character guys that care about one another and I've seen them fight through difficult times and seen them get something fixed before.
"I still have no doubt we'll get it there but it's not going to get there overnight. It's got to be every single day, moving in the right direction and these guys know how to do that."
>> You can watch Frost's full time at the podium right here.
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.