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Nebraska Football

They Said It: Scott Frost Talks Nebraska's 27-24 Loss to Iowa

November 29, 2019
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Coach Scott Frost met with the media Saturday evening following the Huskers’ 27-24 loss to Iowa. He spoke about his message to the team, his special teams, and more.  

Here’s the transcript from his question-and-answer session postgame.

On what he told the team after the game

“I’ve had too many of those conversations with these guys. I just told the seniors that I love them and appreciate them. They’ve been through a lot. They’ve been through a lot in their four years. They’ve been through a lot this year. I’m grateful for them. We’re going to miss a lot of those guys. Then for the young guys, I just told them that we keep coming up just short. There’s about 100 different ways you can get better to make sure the outcomes are different.”

On his decision to insert Luke McCaffrey in the final drive then pulling him out right away

“It wasn’t an insertion, new quarterback thing. We had a package for Noah [Vedral], and we had a little package for Luke. With the runner that Luke is, we figured a team might come running up to stop his run and give us a big play, and it happened. We kind of had the same thing set up for Noah. That one didn’t work. The one with Luke did. There at the end, we are just trying to get the best play call.”

On how strongly he considered putting in Luke after his touchdown throw

“Didn’t really consider it. We have three really good quarterbacks. I love all three of those kids. I didn’t think tied in the fourth quarter at 24 was the right time to do that.”

On if he would have liked Adrian [Martinez] to stay in bounds on a final drive play

“I understand what he was thinking. It’s hard for a player to probably go straight from ‘we’re going to score and win this game’ mode to getting a 15 yard penalty. I haven’t seen it yet, but that can’t happen. Maybe I could have used a timeout there to make sure the kids understood. The next play we just called a quarterback run. In my mind, it was either get a big chunk back and get us to third down or keep the clock running with them only having one timeout keeping the ball inbounds. A lot of things went right, and quite a few things went wrong for us at the end.”

On how he would sum up the defense

“Really it was about three plays on defense in the first half. Our edge lost contain on the reverse. That can’t happen. We had an assignment error. We got cutout on the backside of another one for another long run. We missed a tackle on another one. Aside from that, I thought our defense held their own in the run game. They did a really good job against the pass. The kid [Nate Stanley] is probably an NFL quarterback with an NFL arm. We didn’t give up much there. Those two big plays and the kickoff return really cost us.”

On the decision of kicking it deep on the kickoff return touchdown

“I have to find that out. I’m just being honest. We went into the game not wanting to kick to them. We thought our coverage unit could do a good job. We were going to pooch the first couple. I just got done calling the series and didn’t make it over to the kickoff team.”

On how he felt about the timing of the kick return for a touchdown

“The timing is a killer. It’s the same as the Wisconsin game. We had everything rolling our way and give it right back. Exactly the same thing happened today. They have good special teams. Our’s have to get better. We have to getter in all three phases, and we will. Special teams definitely needs to get better. You see teams with good special teams, it can change games. In these close games, turnovers and special teams make the difference. We got pinned down in the fourth quarter when we had all the momentum coming from the third quarter. We got pinned down deep a couple times and couldn’t let the offense fly. That kind of killed our momentum. That hurt us. We didn’t punt it really well going against the wind in the fourth quarter, and that kind of hurt us and gave them field position. The defense kept stepping up. Then obviously, the kick return killed us. They’ve got a really good kicker, and he made the kick to win it. One area of many we need to improve on.”

On what his game plan was in the first half

“We weren’t going to leave anything out. We had a short week where we weren’t going to leave anything in the tank. We had some good stuff for them. They did a good job staying disciplined on a couple things. We tried to throw a swing pass-double pass to Wyatt Mazour, who played quarterback in high school. The safety did a good job of staying deep. That killed a drive for us. We didn’t get a block on the reverse. That hurt. We missed Adrian on the reverse pass. The one thing that did is it kept them back, and I think that helped open up the run-game a little bit. We felt like we needed to shoot those shots early when were down 14 because we needed something good to happen to get back in it. Our guys did a good job in third quarter of being physical and marching the ball.”

On Adrian's aggressiveness

“I can talk more about that later, we’re going to have time to evaluate a lot of things. I saw a stat, before we went out, where he is the leader in Big Ten yards per game—he’s doing a lot of good things. I think this team’s confidence can sometimes be fragile, and that’s the team that we inherited and that’s one of the things we’re focused on the most. I loved how we played at Maryland, they played with confidence, they played together and I thought there was a lot more of that out there today. Winning’s a habit, losing’s a habit, and our team, this whole thing, needs some good things to happen so our guys can start building on it. Momentum’s a powerful thing. You know, Adrian’s been hurt this year, been nicked up, that certainly affected it. We need to find more people that can be open for him more consistently so he can trust that, we got to protect him better. I’m not defending anybody on the team, we all need to get better, but there’s a lot of things that need to happen a lot better around whoever’s playing quarterback.”

On not having extra practices for a bowl game

“We certainly would have liked to get our young guys more practices. That said, it doesn’t seem like it right now, coming off this game, but I know how much ground we’ve covered already. There’s a lot of things that needed to get fixed, and I think a lot of those have been addressed. I think when you plant a seed, you don’t necessarily see sprouts right away. There’s a lot going on underneath the ground before you see things shooting out of it. I know a lot of things have gotten better. We still have a lot of work to do, and we’ll evaluate a lot of that. I know there’s a lot of people around here that are hungry to get that little bit better so we can win some of those close games.”

On his message to recruits

“Just that it’s coming. We all know it’s coming. The guys in the locker room know it’s coming, the coaches know it’s coming. There’s no timetable for it. Sometimes it happens quicker than you think, sometimes it takes a little longer. I know we’re doing the right things and getting the right guys in here, developing guys the right way, and it’s coming. I think we were in about six close games this year, and we went 2-4. Sometimes a little bit of confidence, a little bit of momentum, one more guy, one more play. There’s about four games you can point to one play and say if that play is different, that game’s different. We still have a long way to go, and at the same time, when you come up one play short in several games, you’re not that far away either. It’s coming, and I think people recognize that, and we’ll make sure the recruits recognize that too.”

On how Wan’Dale Robinson's injury affected him

“Wan’Dale tried, and one of the reasons I love that kid is he’s a competitor, and he’s going to be out there if he can. He tried to go, but I think the hammy (hamstring) just kind of clenched up on him again. Even in warmups, he was telling me he could go, but I didn’t really see him cutting it loose. That was one more weapon we didn’t have after about a quarter - quarter-and-a-half, and we have to get more guys out there that are big players for us.”

On his thoughts on the last drive and calling a timeout

“I wasn’t worried about the time left on the clock there, I was more thinking about if we get one big play we’re in field goal range and if we don’t I don’t want any time left on the clock. The substitution of the quarterback didn’t really matter. We were in a two tight end set and we wanted to get speed on the field. I was keeping an eye on it, making sure we were going to get the snap off ahead of time. Luke (McCaffrey) probably had a guy open in the flat and didn’t take it, but he did a pretty good job scrambling. It would’ve been 3rd-and-five, given us a chance to win the game, but the penalty there really hurt us.”

 
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