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Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

They Said It: Scott Frost Talks Nebraska’s 28-21 Loss to Iowa

November 26, 2021

Nebraska coach Scott Frost met with the media following his team’s 28-21 loss to Iowa. Frost spoke about the special teams mistakes costing the team, the team’s energy after the blocked punt and more.

Here is the full transcript from his time with the media.

On the blocked punt:

“I have to take a look at it. Special teams two weeks in a row. It is not new this year. I need to do a better job making sure that we are up to speed on that, and I think we made a lot of progress. I do not know if the timing was off or if we were late or somebody missed an assignment. I did not see it but I will watch it in about ten minutes.”

On what Frost tells the team after a loss like this:

“I feel like a broken record a little bit with them. Today was some guys’ last game. I cannot tell you how much I love and appreciate Deontai (Williams) and JoJo (Domann) and Marquel (Dismuke) and all of the other guys. I will not list them but all of those guys. Everything that we have been through this year as a team 99 percent of teams would have folded and quit. There is no quit in these guys. Life teaches you good lessons. Sometimes you get the break and sometimes it teaches you tough lessons. I appreciate the fight in those guys and the commitment they have had. Nobody can say that group ever shut it down.”

On quarterback Logan Smothers:

“My message to him was simple. Go make plays and do not turn the ball over. We played a really clean first half. That is a good team across from us and there are a lot of games they won because they created turnovers and other teams have made the mistakes and they have not. We did not make very many if any in the first half. We made some critical ones in the second half. I thought Logan (Smothers) managed the game pretty well. He did enough for us to win.”

On Nebraska’s last play of the game:

“That is a play we run all the time. The receiver has an option to run the post or shut it down. I bet we have 3,000 reps of that and made the wrong throw at the wrong time.”

On Iowa switching quarterbacks:

“I do not know if that was the factor but he came in and played well and they won so maybe it was. The blocked punt was the game. When you have been in as many games like this as we have [you] just try to stop the negative momentum at that point. Then we missed on one protection and gave up a safety. Defense had not given up any big runs all day and we gave up one at the wrong time. I am frustrated. I am really encouraged about how we play every week and about all the young players that are playing really well and a lot of those things. We are a lot better team than we have been in a lot of ways. We made progress. There are some other ways we have a ways to go. The young core of this team is good enough to win and we have to do the little things right to make sure we are on the right side of these close games.”

On running back position:

“It needs to be better. It is not one guy. It is blocking better downfield on the perimeter, and it is holes being a little bigger and getting a few more tough yards and making somebody miss. We have run it well at times and it is just not consistent enough to count on it. Really in the second half they were pretty much taking their backers out of the box to get us out of our option game. When that happens, you need to be able to run the ball between the tackles. We did okay at times and the play that hurt us that gets overlooked a little was the last play of the third quarter. We called one of those plays and it crashed down. We tried to pull the ball and it would have been a really good gain for us and put us in better position to start the fourth. We laid the ball on the ground and it was second and 11. Then they blocked the punt. It has kind of been death by papercuts this year and the same thing happened today. I want to stop the negative things from happening and stop the momentum and talk to the kids and that was a lot of bad plays in a row. Credit to them they made the plays when they needed to and we did not.”

On sideline energy after blocked punt:

“I went and talked to the guys that mattered and everybody’s look in their eyes was great. With what we have been through honestly it is human nature to just have it in the back of your head like what is going to go wrong and when one goes wrong what else is going to go wrong. A lot had to go wrong in a row. When we were up 21 to six and 21 to nine, I felt great. I really believe our kids believed they were going to win this game. I am sure they believed it when it was 21 to 9. Then when the blocked punt happened it was probably human nature they have it in the back of their head and wins take care of that. You win one close one and then you win another one and that is how you get that fixed.”

On opponent’s running ball well lately:

“The teams we have played are really good at running it. It certainly does not help to not have some of those guys. Damion Daniels has been a huge part of this team and especially in the run game. JoJo [Domann], Deontai [Williams] and others. I cannot blame that though. We did a good enough job against the run for three quarters and gave up a long one when we could not. It goes back to special teams. If we do not get that punt blocked for a touchdown then they have to go 80 yards or 60 yards to score and I would still feel great about our chances.”

On the importance of the next few weeks:

“Really important. We have been so close. This thing has a chance to really take off. Part of that is going to be getting a few guys to stay maybe. Part of that is going to be getting some new blood in the program. Part of that is going to be getting some new coaches and like I said we have a good young core. I am really encouraged by the progress we made just from a football standpoint. It is criminal that the record is where it is and I have to do a better job because coming that close in that many football games and not getting any it is a heartbreak.”

On psychology of what Frost says in the locker room:

“I consider the psychology when I talk to the team about every week. Trying to give them a message but I really do not believe a message on Thursday night is the key. I tried and I will continue to with special teams and the little details here and there. We have to do a better job as coaches making sure the details do not get us beat. We have to do a better job as coaches making sure special teams do not get us beat. When those things get you over the hump in a game or two it is not hoping we are going to win or thinking we are going to win. It is knowing we are going to get it done. We have to do a good job of that.”

On Frost’s pitch to possible returning players:

“I do not think they need to be sold. I think each one of them just needs to make a decision that is best for them. There are some that probably need to go give it a shot at the next level. There are others that can use another year. My senior year a couple guys came back that could have gotten drafted real high but they wanted to see this through. I think we will have some like that and some that will take the next challenge. The guys that are going to be back need to bond together and take one more step.”

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