Scott Frost is Hoping to Find Out Just How Far Along his Huskers Are
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

They Said It: Scott Frost Discusses Huskers’ 44-8 Win Over NIU

September 15, 2019

Coach Scott Frost met with the media Saturday night following the Huskers’ 44-8 win over Northern Illinois. Nebraska rolled in the game even if it was pretty sloppy at times. The coaches were able to empty the bench and get a lot of players snaps in the game. 

Here’s the transcript from his question-and-answer session postgame. 

On taking control of the game early and keeping control

“It was great. I love the way the guys finished. We got a lot better Week 1 to Week 2. We got a lot better today. We still have a lot to fix. This is a work in progress. This team has an opportunity to keep improving and be a pretty solid team that has a chance to win some games down the road if we keep getting better. It was great to see us start pretty fast again, it was great to see us come out in the second half. I told the defense they had five [points allowed] when we came in at halftime and they had eight when we came back in after the game. That’s what we expect. We did a lot of things a lot better out there than we had the first couple of weeks and really going back longer than that. It was great to see us get in control and stay there.”

On Adrian Martinez’s play

“Adrian is going to keep getting better. As good of a year as he had last year, you still forget he’s still a true sophomore. He’s a really good player and he’s going to make whatever plays we need him to. I give Coach (Thomas) Hammock and that team a lot of credit. Defensively they’re tough. They’re tough to prepare for because of all the slanting and blitzing and everything that they do. Jumping around on third down and then in this game we had prepared for what they had done the first two games and every time we ran 11 personnel with three wideouts out there, they ran a three-three stack that we hadn’t prepared for at all. So we had to stay in two tight ends a bunch and kind of alter what we were doing and I give them a lot of credit for the way they coach that team. That’s a good team.”

On the final drive of the first half

“We preach to the guys and maybe I needed to get the lesson from outside and from my assistant coaches last week, we preach a desire to excel and no fear of failure all the time and if we want the players to be that way, we need to be that way as coaches. That means calling what we need to call, rolling the dice, letting them play, being aggressive. That’s the way I want our team to think and if we get the ball back with 40 seconds we want them to think score. For them to do that, we need to do that.”

On if he learned something from the Colorado overtime

“You know I don’t want to talk about that game at all but what’s made us good as a coaching staff and as a team when we’ve been good is just always keeping the foot on the gas. I want our guys to play like that all the time.”

On Dedrick Mills' play

“One of the things we have to fix is the turnover issue. We’ve had too many drives where we’ve had a chance to score and give the other team the ball. Apart from that, I thought Dedrick made a huge step in the right direction today. I think you saw a little more of the things that we were seeing as coaches in camp in a lot of different ways on offense, Dedrick being one of them. He runs hard, he’s got good speed. I think he did a better job of being patient and finding the hole today. That was a pretty good one-two punch today with him and Mo [Washington].”

On the punt block

“I give coach [Jovan] DeWitt and coach [Zach] Crespo a lot of credit. We’re a lot better on special teams this year, part of it is the kids, we have a lot better athletes, they’re taking it more seriously. Those were big plays getting those punt blocks, now on the flip side of that we’ve got to get the PAT and field goal thing figured out. Hopefully we’re at full strength at kicker soon, but those were big plays. Give the kids credit and give the special teams guys a lot of credit.” 

On having a game plan to rush the punter 

“Yeah that would be a good question for Coach DeWitt, but he told me we thought we had a chance to get him and he let it rip and it worked out for us.” 

On the blocked kicks

“I got to go back and look at it, one got blocked but the middle one got blocked off the edge so I’d imagine it’s not completely consistent but that’s never a problem until it’s a problem. You don’t know if there’s a hole in your boat until you put it in the water, but once the other team sees there’s a hole there gonna keep trying to go through the same hole.” 

On the injuries to Cam Taylor-Britt and Brenden Jaimes

“I’m not going to talk about injuries, I hope those two are fine, I thought Broc Bando did a good job coming in and we had some success with him in when Jaimes was out. A couple different DBs came in, did a good job. Braxton Clark came in and did some good things. I think Quinton Newsome is getting closer to being ready to play a lot for us so we hope we can go through a whole year without injuries, hope these aren’t serious but if we’re going to have anybody miss any time then the next guy has to be ready.” 

On the defense’s stand on the goal line 

“Oh, that was great, the defense last week played three really good quarters and then the house of cards just kind of fell in on us. We had to learn a lot of lessons as a football team coaches and players alike since I got to Nebraska. I kind of feel like we’ve rounded a little bit of a corner, only had one penalty all night it was a good thing to get those kind of stops and get that kind of play in the fourth quarter even from our second-string defense to play well with our second-string offense so a lot of good things happened. That goal line stand is just kind of a symbol of what happened tonight when we really needed those guys, they stepped up.”

On the decision with the kicking situation

“I had a big decision to make a week ago. Who to make kick. You know I talked to the kickers. One was hurt before the game. One was hurt during the game. I trust Isaac [Armstrong] a lot because of how well he's done punting but Lane [McCallum] kicked well all week. Practice, too. Just the first time I'd ever see him kick. It was hard for me to roll the dice on that but we're going to keep giving him opportunities. He's done a great job at practice. Did a good job tonight.”

On the game and execution

“It was a lot closer to a clean game. We still got to execute better on offense when we get chances, particularly on turnovers. But then again, I give a lot of credit to them. They really disrupted the defense just because of the nature of defense they play. Running through with linebackers and twisting and punting and banging and you watch them on take and they had a bunch of TFLs and disrupted plays against their first two opponents, including Utah. It was closer to a clean game. Fewer penalties, fewer turnovers. Still think we can improve and execute better. I told the team We were a lot better this week than we were last week but we have a long way to go yet.”

On Maurice Washington not getting as many plays in the second half

“No, he got bumped up a little bit. He's going to be fine but that's the reason he didn't play in the second but the other guys did a great job. You're starting to see when we get a couple of our guys, several of our guys with the ball in space a lot of things can happen. Mo being one of them. He took advantage of his opportunities today.”

On Isaiah Stalbird

“Isaiah's done a great job and Isaiah's going to be one of those poster boys for our walk-on program like Nebraska's used to having. If he stays on the track that he's on, I anticipate he won't be a walk-on for too long. He's got to keep earning it but he's been good on defense, he's been good on special teams. We're glad he's on our team.”

On Kanawai Noa’s play

“Kanawai's one of my favorite kids. It's hard to get him to say anything but he's a grown up. He's a pro about how he comes to work every day. He got hurt a little bit in camp and he missed a bunch of time and I think that's gotten him out of rhythm. And that happened with a few of our offensive guys. And we're starting to slowly find a rhythm, including Kanawai. I think we played with better pace and tempo today. I thought the execution was a little better and the more the guys on offense play together, the better that'll be.”

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