Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Scott Frost rubs his head during football practice
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

The Spark as Difficult to Find as Answers For Huskers After Puzzling Loss

September 26, 2021

For many years now, we have heard Nebraska coach Scott Frost say that his team just needs momentum. The Huskers just need some wind under their sails. Or they need a spark. Nebraska had a crushing 23-20 overtime loss to Michigan State. There was a new way for Frost to say that his team needs to stack performances together.

“These guys have done so much work to improve and get better,” Frost said. “This hasn’t been easy for this team and it hasn’t been easy for me. From where we started to where we are right now we’re a way better team. We got to get the pilot light lit and get over the hump in a couple of these games and get on a roll. That just hasn’t happened.”

That pilot light is just a flicker right now.

The reasons that Nebraska hasn’t gotten on the roll it is hoping for appeared in East Lansing. Undisciplined play reared its ugly head. The Huskers had four false starts with the offensive lineman.

Frost gave us a glimpse into how the offensive line prepares during the week. He said that offensive line coach Greg Austin stands behind the line every practice. Austin gets the defensive line to move to try and draw his group into a false start. Frost believes he is doing everything he know how to do to keep these mistakes from happening.

But now that’s part of the problem. The issues holding the team back all sound familiar. Penalties, special teams errors and untimely miscues have happened since 2018. That’s because we have been talking about the same problems in the program during Frost’s tenure.

Nebraska lost as 21-point underdog on the road against Oklahoma. The team played well and it provided a measure of a moral victory. You can make an argument that taking a No. 20 Michigan State team to overtime on the road is a step in the right direction. Yet, the devil is in the details. This is also a bottom-line business. Nebraska lost those games the same way it lost many of the 15 one-score losses under Frost.

Answers are hard to come by for Frost right now. Special teams was supposed to be a point of emphasis for this season. The results have been a mixed bag but Frost seemed at his wit’s end on Saturday night about the unit.

“I don’t think Coach Dawson can try to detail stuff much better in practice, but we’re going to try because it’s got to be better,” Frost said.

“But we have a punt call we’re supposed to roll right and punt right. I’d rather see the ball land 30 yards out of bounds than miss your target by 30 yards. We got to be able to count on guys.”

Figuring out the answers on how to fix what plagues Nebraska football is tough. It’s even harder to do in the middle of a season. The Huskers have no games left on the schedule that are considered likely wins. Salavging the season will be no small task. The Huskers have to try but no easy solutions appear available.

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