Scott Frost met with the media Saturday afternoon following the Huskers' loss to Iowa, 31-28. He spoke about the lack of quit in his team, where the Huskers need to get better and the impact of the senior class.
Here's the full transcript from their question-and-answer session postgame.
On the locker room mood:
“Our locker room is disappointed, but very prideful. I have some fighters in there and we need fighters. They're getting towards the point where they expect to win and hate to lose. We're going to fight to the end no matter what. The result isn't what we wanted, but I'm awfully proud."
On Iowa going for it on fourth-and-8:
"I figured they were punting. That's a gutsy decision by them. I give Coach Ferentz credit. If they gave us the ball back right there with 40 seconds left, I liked our chances of hitting a couple of plays and giving us an opportunity for a field goal. They rolled the dice there and I think we had the right defense on. We gave a little too much ground in one spot. It was a great play by them."
On Iowa’s game plan:
"Their whole game plan was obviously to try to keep the ball away from our offense. Those games drive me crazy as a play caller because it seems like you stand on the sidelines for hours. They did a great job of managing the clock from that standpoint. We had only one drive in the first quarter. Then what happens is your team gets a little tight because they want to make it happen so bad because they aren’t touching the ball a lot.”
On if the team got life from the fake field goal:
“I was surprised to be honest with you. I was calculating that it would be a three-score game if they hit the FG there. I’m never going to criticize anyone for being aggressive. We turned around and faked a punt on our own 8. I wasn’t watching the play, I heard fake on the headset, looked up and saw us make a play. That gave us life and our kids did a good job of fighting.”
On takeaways from the game:
"First, I take that our kids are fighters. I told them first and goal for them with us down two scores already, they could have quit. I hear about how Nebraska quit last year in some of these games but I saw no quit in our guys.
“What disturbs me right now is that Iowa is a bigger, stronger football team. I never thought I'd see or hear that or say that about a Nebraska football team. That we can fix. We can get bigger, we can get stronger. Give their guys credit. They had three, four years in Iowa's strength and conditioning, we had one year with Zach [Duval]. They leaned on us quite a bit in the second half. I thought the defense did a nice job of responding, but I look forward to the day where we're not going to get pushed around by anybody."
On how Adrian Martinez bounced back:
“He’s just fearless and nothing rattles him. He made some great plays early and late. I told him on the two-point conversion what we were doing and if it didn’t work he would have to make something happen. You could say that to a lot of guys and not many could do it. He made something happen and is capable of doing that.”
On his first season coaching Nebraska:
“There are a lot of emotions, it was a trying year. I’ll tell you what I told the team in the locker room. If we could start the season over with the team we have now, I don’t know how many wins we’d have but it’d be a fun ride. We just weren’t there at the beginning of the season. In some ways the pain we went through was necessary. To get their attention, unify the team. I wish it hadn’t had to happen. This team is good enough to beat a lot of people. This team is good enough to be a bowl game. I’m so excited about the future and grateful to the seniors for holding things together.”
On how close the team was down the stretch:
"A lot of you guys were in the room in Michigan when I said that was rock bottom. To our kids’ credit, they swam like hell for the surface and have kept improving. It's gotten consistently better. It's gotten better. It's gotten better every week. We're good enough right now to beat anybody in the league when you play really good teams like Iowa and Ohio State on the road and come as close as we came. We're not that far away and I know how much better we can get."
On where he feels they need to get better:
“We have to add more pieces first of all. Our depth is a real issue. Our depth at receiver, at middle linebacker, our depth in the secondary really affecting us on special teams. We got some really good players and fighters, we need to add more. Our kids of guys, talented guys. We have to keep stocking the cupboard. I want to get to the point where I look across the field and don’t think they are bigger than us. That shouldn’t happen at the University of Nebraska.”
On Stanley Morgan Jr:
“Stanley is one of those special guys I hope I keep in touch with for the rest of my life. He’s a warrior. He’s always ready to compete. Talk about the type of guy that has cleats and a ball and hoop shoes, golf clubs in the back of your car in case any type of game breaks out, Stan is and always ready to play. The best thing about Stan is he is always in a good mood, loves football has fun doing what he’s doing. He’s been a great Husker and this place will miss him.”
On improvements by Adrian Martinez:
“The biggest improvement is understanding the concepts and what we are trying to do. He’s going to be a lot better next year there is no doubt about it. There has to be a connection between the play called and the quarterback with why we are calling it and where we want the ball to go. Part of the calls in the second half was us talking to him one time, making adjustments and him getting it. There was a real chess game going on out there with the formations and the adjustments they made to it. We’d react and respond and they’d have something new. That’s a fun game for the coach and the quarterback but we have to be on the same page.”
On Maurice Washington in the passing game in the future:
“We’ll have plenty of time to talk about next year and individual guys for next season. Maurice [Washington] and Adrian [Martinez], JD [Spielman], [Jack] Stoll, [Matt] Farniok, Boe [Wilson], [Brendan] Jaimes. Just speaking offensively, we are going to get a lot better. We have a lot of good pieces coming back. We are going to miss the heck out of these seniors. I want to thank them again for keeping this thing together.
“When we were 0-6, this team could have quit, it could have fractured. The seniors just kept leading and pulling the rope. I’m grateful to them for this season and the way it worked out. I told the young guys, it’s time to get back to work. I like a lot of the pieces we have and we are going to add to it. There is no doubt in my mind where this thing is going and the direction we are heading.”