MADISON, Wisc. — Nebraska Scott Frost met with the media Saturday night following the Huskers' 41-24 loss to Wisconsin. During his time at the podium, Frost addressed the areas where his team grew over the last week, how close the Huskers are to being where they want to be, the future of key players and plenty more.
Check out the full transcript from Frost's time at the podium.
On how the team got where they were tonight:
"We just need to get better. I'm proud of the team. I think the team played hard. They battled. In the first half, I thought the defense did a pretty good job holding up to everything they were doing. The offense just sputtered and shot itself in the foot and kind of missed on a couple of opportunities. I made a decision in the second quarter, we're up here in Wisconsin trying to beat a ranked team, figured we had to go get points and it kind of backfired. They went and got points, but our team kept battling. Right now they're just better than we are."
If Nebraska was in the position they wanted to be at one point:
"Not the position you want to be. You play a team like this, you need to be ahead. Our defense did a pretty good job holding them to a field goal on the first drive. We had a couple of chances to score and go up 7-3 or 7-6. You can't let a team like this get out in front of you because they're just going to keep pounding you and pounding you and hammering it with the run game and taking time off the clock. We knew that coming in. That's probably why they took the football on the opening drive. We were planning on doing the same thing. We just weren't quite efficient enough on offense in the first half to score enough points."
On why Nebraska was better in the second half:
"I don't know. I think Coach [Troy] Walters and the guys had a really good game plan for these guys. A lot of the stuff we called worked. There were just some mistakes. We're playing an 18-year-old quarterback and he's doing a great job. He's going to be a special player. There were a couple of plays in the first half where he threw to the wrong side or his eyes were in the wrong place. Jack Stoll took a step forward, he's a sophomore, made a great play. Got a holding penalty that hurt us on a drive.
"Mo Washington made a couple of mistakes but man, is he going to be a good player. I think Coach Walters and the guys had us in some really good stuff. We're playing a good team and we didn't execute well."
On whether or not they could run it right at Wisconsin:
"At times we ran it well. I thought we had an advantage and we thought we had an advantage if we could protect . . . They're young in the backend and we thought we had a lot of things we could take advantage of and I think we did a pretty good job of that. Not good enough.
"Hey, look. I'm proud of our team right now. I know we still had a lot of penalties but we didn't have any dumb penalties, selfish penalties. Hardly any busts of assignments. I told the team that sometimes when you're sick, you've got to puke it out. I really think last week was a turning point for us, believe it or not. I saw a team come together. I saw a team practice the best it's practiced all year. I saw a team start loving each other and start holding each other accountable. They came out here and fought. We weren't good enough to win the game but I really feel like it was a turning point for us and that's what I told them in the locker room.
"In reality, I don't know how big their line is on the offensive side going across but they're 6-6, 310 all the way across the [defensive] line and veterans. We've got two sophomore tackles and guys that I love. They're fighting their butts off in the middle. We just don't look like them right now. I wouldn't want to meet their one defensive end in a dark alley, No. 97. He's as big of a guy as I've seen. We've got guys on our side that are fighting their butts off but we just don't look like them right now. That being said, we weren't very many plays and very far away from being in a game with a chance to win with that team and I think our guys can see that. I think they can see the progress they've made, especially in the last week. I'm excited to be their coach and I'm excited for the rest of the season."
On what Adrian Martinez can gain from a game like this:
"Adrian is getting better every week and there's still some times you look out there and after a third down where we should have scored and had two penalties that knocked us back out of scoring range, we adjusted. They were staying in zone against our empty sets early and we were taking freebies and then they started trying to go to man-coverage against that. We weren't sure what they were going to be in so we got him an empty [set] and told him to throw to one side versus man and the other side versus quarters, and his understanding of that down the road will be better. He threw to the wrong side. We had [Stanley Morgan Jr.] wide open where we wanted him to go with the ball. Those things are going to happen sometimes because he's a freshman and in the heat of battle, we've got to be better about communicating with him.
"He's 18-years-old but man, is he going to be a special player. And Mo Washington took a step forward today and I saw Cam Taylor take a step forward today. Our two tackles played better. JD [Spielman] is a warrior. We've got good players on this team that we're proud to coach and we're going to keep working with and keeping improving. I hate losing more than anyone in the world. I challenge you to find anyone that hates it more than me but I think we're on the road to getting this to a better place."
On if Wisconsin's run game wore on Nebraska early:
"That's what they do, right? That's what they're built to do. That's what we used to do when I played quarterback here, run it, run it, run it. By the third quarter, the short runs, you'd run a pop and one turns into a long run. You want to win the time of possession. We didn't do a good enough job getting off the field. We're still not good enough on third down on defense. That's their game plan. In order to combat that, we've got to be more efficient early on and try to get a lead and then they're playing a game they don't want to. This whole game from the start was the type of game they want to be in for that with their size and physical nature. We need to get ahead of them."
On the play late in the third quarter where Nebraska could have gotten Wisconsin off the field:
"That was my message to the team. I hope you guys see how close you are. My hats off to Colorado for where they are right now. I feel like we should have won that game. They're undefeated and ranked in the top-20. This team right here, there are a few plays right there where you go in and score when it's 3-nothing them and it's a different game. Get to the spot a little bit quicker and make a tackle, it's a different game. Not getting penalties when we're going in to score, that's a different game. That play was big. One of the Davis twins — sometimes I can't tell them apart — got through on a third down. If he makes the sack right there, we have a chance to make it a one-score game. I think it was 14 points at the time.
"The boys are close. They're close. They've just got to make those plays. Long-term around here, we need more players that can make those plays. We're getting a little thin. Jacob Weinmaster, love the kid. He's going to play his butt off for us. He's what we've got at middle linebacker right now and we're going to ride with him because he does things the right way and plays hard. Long range, we need more guys that can help us make the plays to win this game but the guys we've got are plenty capable of winning games this year and we're close."
On this week with players that left:
"Anything I say… I wish those two kids well. Our team's going to keep getting stronger. I wish them well. That's probably all I should say. I feel good about where we're going. Sometimes those things are necessary. I told those guys at the beginning of the week that you're either all in or don't be here. We had a couple that chose to do something else. We're going to help them, wish them well, but at the end of the day, sometimes those things need to happen for your team to get better."