On Saturday evening, Nebraska coach Scott Frost addressed the media following the Huskers' season opening loss at the hands of the Colorado Buffaloes 33-28.
Frost was asked about his team's overall performance, cleaning up mistakes and the early status of freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez.
What did you see on the late fourth quarter flag on Antonio Reed?
“I don’t know. I know they picked up targeting. All I saw was the video and it looked it he was playing the ball and turned and hit him. I don’t know if that’s a penalty or not. Somebody smarter than me will have to decide that.”
What did you think the team did well today?
“I told the team I’m proud of them. I’m broken hearted for them, but I’m proud of them. Looking out on that field we had an offense, the only time we got stopped on offense was when we made mistakes and stopped ourselves. Defense at times looked like the Blackshirts. I don’t know what they [Colorado] rushed for [44 yards]. We had their quarterback on his back, we stopped the run all day. When you’re trying to go from an average team to a great team, you don’t beat yourself and spotting them 14 points is a good way to get beat, not getting any fourth-and-shorts is a good way to get beat. Giving up third-and-19s and third-and-15s is a good way to get beat. Getting holding calls while you’re trying to run out the clock is a good way to get beat. Getting penalties on third-and-25 when they’re trying to score the last, winning score is a good way to get beat. We can’t beat ourselves. We’ve got to learn those lessons. We’ve tried preaching them to them a lot. If this team didn’t beat itself today, we would have won that game.”
What did you think about backup quarterback Andrew Bunch's performance?
“Andrew came in and did a good job. Obviously he’s got to put one of those last two balls in a catchable position for Stanley [Morgan] or somebody else, but every time I thought we’ve found every way to give the game away, we found more. We’ve got to catch balls when we’re open in the end zone. We’ve got to catch third-down balls when our backup quarterback comes in and puts it on the money and those guys that did that are great players. They’re going to be great players here. It’d be hard to try and think of too many more ways to beat yourself today.”
Can you provide an update on freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez’s injury?
“It’s semi-encouraging. We’re going to wait before we talk about it until the doctors and everything see what it looks like. I thought he played great, first time out there. There’s just some mistakes, the freshman mistakes, the first game mistakes that I wish we could have gotten out of our system last week. Greg Bell fumbling early, Adrian fumbling. We’ll keep working on ball security, we have been. Being smarter with the ball at the end. Maybe I should hand him a different play when we threw that last interception, but our defense goes in and bails us out a few times. I thought Adrian played a great game. Especially for his first game. He’s going to be a really good player around here.”
What your thought process with late-game play calling?
“We just wanted to go score. We’re always going to be aggressive. We wanted to go score and put them on the safest pass play that we knew to run to get it started. It wasn’t quite late enough in the fourth quarter to think we could just run the clock out with their timeouts, so we’re going to stay aggressive all the time, we go for the score. We should’ve thrown to the right and we threw to the left, and those are things that Adrian [Martinez]…he’s the type of kid that won’t make the same mistake again.”
Why do you think the team failed to convert on fourth-and-ones?
“We didn’t try to get too cute on those fourth down and ones because… shoot, we ran for… I don’t know what we ran for, we’re winning the battle upfront. I thought we won the battle upfront on both sides of the ball. We just got to do it in situations like that.”
How do you think the defense executed early in the game?
“I think their team did a good job executing on that first drive, they hit us with a lot of stuff, with double-reverse passes or whatever that thing was… you know, you can practice against yourself a lot until you see the speed of somebody else and how they’re doing it, sometimes it takes a series… but we’re going to address whatever it was to make both sides of the ball not come out and click early, we’ll address. I’d never make an excuse, but having a game last week certainly, probably would’ve helped the way we came out and played. It is what it is, those were the cards dealt to us. We can’t turn the ball over in our first two possessions. We’re going in to score in the first, and turned it over to them, and it’s 7-0 them instead of us having the lead. And then defense has got to step up, if you spot any decent team 14 points it’s hard to come back. I was really pleased with how our kids responded to that situation and didn’t win.”
What were your emotions after walking out to the field?
“It’s all wiped out when you lose, I don’t care. I’m a competitor like all of these guys in the locker room and for three quarters I was having about as much fun coaching as I had in my life, doing it back home… but we've just got to find… we've got to learn lessons to be able to win games like that and not beat ourselves. When you’re trying to become a good team, you don’t find ways to lose games, especially close ones. You find ways to win.”
What did you expect coming into the game this week?
“To be honest with you I didn’t know what I was going to see today. I knew the team had prepared really well. I knew they knew the game plan, I knew they were going to play hard, but I didn’t know what it would look like because I hadn’t been on the field with them before. Short of losing the game and staying healthy, I don’t know if I could have been much more pleased with the way we moved the ball. The way some of our players performed, with the way our freshman quarterback performed, the way the Blackshirts looked minus a couple series and some bad mistakes.”
What are your thoughts on the penalties against Nebraska today?
“I’m not going to talk about penalties, I’ll talk about our mistakes and we’ll address them, I think we’ve made some undisciplined plays and that’s what average teams do.”