Husker head coach Scott Frost wasn’t in the best of moods a week ago Thursday. Did the team have a bad practice two days before a date with Michigan at The Big House? He said no then, but every comment since the 56-10 loss on Saturday has been the opposite.
After the game, Frost said Thursday’s practice sucked, he just didn’t want that out there at the time. This week, the conversation has shifted from culture in the program to practice. Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said it best Wednesday: Monday needs to be really good, Tuesday needs to be better, Wednesday needs to be even better and Thursday needs to be great. That hasn't been the case over the last few weeks.
Nebraska got a little closer to it this week.
“Today was a lot better than last week,” Frost said Thursday when he met with the media. “Monday was really good. Tuesday was really good. Wednesday was good. We’re practicing well and sooner or later that kind of work is going to lead to results. I’m just pleased that we were better this week than last week.”
At the conclusion of practice, cheering and clapping could be heard from the field inside Hawks Championship Center. There wasn’t any mention of what happened, but the mood was certainly much better this week than last. Asked what specifically was better, Frost said it was in the details.
“I think attention to detail. There were more plays executed well, there was more attention to assignment,” he said. “The guys had a good week.”
Now they need to carry that over to Saturday against Purdue (1-3, 0-1 Big Ten).
“I want assignment-sound football,” Frost said, “but the No. 1 thing is play with passion, enthusiasm and effort. It’s been good but I’m not sure we’ve played as hard since the Colorado game as we played in that game.
“There was a lot of excitement and enthusiasm going into that game, a lot of hope. Nothing’s changed except for three results. I hope they go out and play with the same fire they played with in Week 1.”
Because Week 1 was really the only time all season Nebraska has shown real pieces of what Frost wants the team to be. They had more points at halftime (21) against the Buffs than they’ve had in either of their last two games (19 against Troy, 10 against Michigan). They had 329 yards of total offense in the first half of Week 1 and held Colorado to just 9 yards rushing.
“You saw at times in the Colorado game what we want it to look like,” he said. “There were some bad circumstances the next game and I didn’t see it as much, I didn’t see hardly any of it on Saturday [against Michigan].
“None of that matters. I’ve seen the guys do it for good stretches of time on the field. We need to put those types of segments together and have more of them.”
Other News and Notes
>> Frost said the simple fact true freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez has had all week to work and prepare with the first team will help him a ton against Purdue.
“Continuity there definitely helps, particularly when you’ve got young guys that haven’t played,” he said. “They need those reps and those looks at what they’re going to see on Saturday. Hopefully that gives us a boost."
>> There were message board rumors this week swirling about freshman running back Maurice Washington. He missed practice Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and there was plenty of speculation as to why. Running backs coach Ryan Held said Wednesday Washington is sick.
On Thursday, Frost just laughed at the whole thing.
“I’m used to the mania around here and people inventing things,” Frost said. “I’ve lived that before. I heard secondhand all the stuff that’s being said about Mo. He came to practice on Tuesday and threw up six times on the practice field, so people need to calm down. Not everything is newsworthy or a disaster. We’ve had a little bit of a bug going around, and a bad one, but he’s ready to go.”
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.