Coach Scott Frost met with the media on Friday following the Huskers’ 26-20 loss to Iowa. He spoke about the state of the program, how the quarterbacks looked, snap issues, becoming more disciplined as a team and more.
Here’s the transcript from his question-and-answer session postgame.
On how the team played this week even in a loss:
“I was embarrassed last week with the way we played (and) the way we approached the game. That’s on me as a coach. I told the guys in the locker room after that I’m not embarrassed to coach this team, I’m proud of this team. That’s a good team we played. We had chances to win. We got to button things up and do the little things right. All the time, so that the two or three plays that cost that game don’t happen. I thought they moved on their field goes up 23-20. It didn’t get called. We’re down a field goal, run the ball down deep into their territory and get a holding penalty. Defense steps up and get to stop. We fumble a punt. We’re down six and the defense gives us another stop. We have a chance to win the game. But you can’t do those things against good teams. The good teams in this league are buttoned up like that. And I keep saying we got a lot of talent in this program right now. We went toe to toe with those guys. We went toe to toe with Northwestern. We’re just doing the little stuff that gets ourselves beat. Part of that is a function of having young players. We need time with them to get them buttoned up. But I was proud of the team today. Sooner or later, woulda-coulda-shouldas need to turn into wins but I don’t doubt it for a second.”
On the frustrations of special teams breakdowns:
“It’s really frustrating. We spent a lot of time on that. I expected to be better. We’re supposed to punt the ball to the sideline like we did later in the game and we left one in the middle of the field. That can’t happen. That’s detail and stuff that I’m talking about that as an entire coaching staff and the leaders on our football team we can’t let anything happen. Not one inch of anything that’s not disciplined or not buttoned up. Those things can’t happen. We need to catch every punt in practice. Every punt, because it matters. We played too good defensively to give them the fields we gave them. It can’t be we’re buttoned up on defense and we don’t play well on offense. It can’t be we play well on offense and don’t play well on special teams. That kind of discipline has to go all the way through the program. That starts with coaching staff. It was way better this week. The kids approached the game way better. I love their intensity, love their fire, love their fight. That’s how they need to play every week.”
On how he felt about the quarterbacks today and how they were used:
“We told them they were both going to play. Our plan was to play two series and put Luke in. We graded every rep last week in practice and they were dead even. Both completed and 81% of their passes in practice. Both had two turnovers, one of which wasn’t their fault. We got two good young players, two good quarterbacks. We need to continue to hit a few more of the easy things that they give us that we miss at that position, particularly in the pass game. I thought we’d throw it downfield better. I thought both guys managed the game well when they’re in. We got two good players, we’ll continue to let them compete. I said last week, Luke’s the future of this program there’s no doubt what kind of player I think he’s going to be. I just don’t know if that future is now or when Adrian’s all done in Nebraska. But I’ve been I’ve been doubted in Nebraska as a quarterback. Adrian’s felt that too. I was proud of how he responded.”
On what changed after gaining momentum:
“I don’t think anything changed. We got really bad field position a couple of times. They’re a good team. We needed one more drive somewhere. We needed one less fumble, one less penalty. One more stop. One more call. That’s kind of game you’re going to have to win against Iowa and Northwestern because they don’t give you anything easy. Oh, and Wisconsin, those are really good teams. Really good teams that have been doing the same thing for a long time and know what they’re doing. They have detail and discipline in their program because they’ve been building it for a long time. We’re still trying to get there. We’re a heck of a lot closer than where we were. That’s why I told the guys to walk out of here with their head up high. I told you I was embarrassed to coach the team last week because we didn’t play like a team that I want to coach but I would say I don’t think our record is indicative of where we are right now and the improvements we’ve made. Just sooner or later, we got to be buttoned up and detailed enough to make sure that these close games go our way.”
On the continued snap issues:
“The issue of snaps today? I don’t think had anything to do with his technique. There was clapping going on on their sideline and Cam heard that clap and thought it was a quarterback clapping. We discussed with officials and didn’t happen in the second half.”
On if he expected the offensive line to be further along at this point:
“I don’t know, but you know it’s hard to run the ball on Iowa they do a good job. I give Kirk and his staff a lot of credit. There’s not easy yards against them. I thought we creased some runs. Got stopped on some others, had a couple negative plays. They just kind of guessed right and blitz on the first drive. Blitz the guy off the edge to the side of a fly sweep. Another time on midzone. Plugged the backer and he came through and tackled for a loss. But those things are going to happen in a football game. I think they’re playing pretty well, especially considering we got Cam Jurgens at center that’s been an offensive lineman for two years. Ethan Piper’s a freshman and Bryce Benhart is a freshman. Jaimes and Farniok have been our leaders and our bell cows up there. I know Matt’s hurting just looking at him in locker room because of what happened on the last play but I love him. He’s fought through a lot of Nebraska and plays his tail off for us and he’s a really good player and a really good person.”
On getting rid of small details errors that plague the program:
“Getting that type of discipline and that level of discipline in our program has been a three-year process for me and it’s making me old. I’m always careful not to criticize who came before me. The discipline wasn’t very good when I walked into the building. Give the old guys that are still here from when we got here a lot of credit for sticking through what they’ve stuck through and given us the leadership that they give us. It’s unfortunate we didn’t have springball. That would have helped. With COVID, we weren’t able to spend as much time around our young guys. We’re playing a lot of young players and that kind of discipline takes time with them, too. But you asked me how you get it done. Nobody can ever be late to class. When somebody was late to a workout when I was in school, it never got to Coach Osborne, because JP and Grant would take care of it. Nobody can ever give less than 100% in practice. Nobody can put off their finals till the last minute and not study. When you’re detailed on the little things all through the week and all through the year, the detail comes in the game. We still got some work to do. But when I look at the faces of the guys in that locker room, I think they understand it and are committed to getting it done.”
On the need to lean on his coaches this week to make sure the players were ready:
“Yeah, that’s the coach’s job. That being said nobody had to tell me to go out and play my butt off every week. Nobody had to tell Mike Minter and Michael Booker and Joel Mackovicka good to go play their butt off every week. But that’s our job. If it’s not getting done to get it done. I thought the coaches did a great job this week. I loved how we approached the game today. The fire in our eyes and willingness to play a 60-minute fight with a good team. We need to get a little better and button things up so that those few mistakes that cost the game don’t happen and it’s got to happen quick.”
On standing up to Iowa’s run game better this year:
“Absolutely, I think we did. Again, I give them credit. They’ve been building this for a long time. They’ve been doing this for a long time. We came here two years ago and they ran outside zone on us and we couldn’t stop it. I thought they were bigger than us, stronger than us and we got pushed around. They still hit their share. We made our share of plays. I’m not taking anything away from them. They’re well coached and they’re a good team but that didn’t happen today. That’s a sign of the progress we’ve made. The kids are hurting. They wanted this one. They did everything they need to this week to prepare for this and put themselves in position to win a game against a good team. It’s gonna happen. I’ve been doubted in this state before. I’m sure there’s some out there right now but I know what happened last time and it’s going to happen again.”
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.