Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Mailbag: Offense, Frost and Rory’s Boyfriends

September 07, 2022

Welcome everyone to this pilot episode of the new Hail Varsity mailbag. This is Brady, the Husker football and recruiting writer. Good to have you. There are snacks in the kitchen.

I’m going to ask for questions every Monday after Nebraska’s press conferences. This gives coaches and players a chance to answer your questions before you ask. And a chance for new questions. You can send me questions on Twitter (my DMs are open if you want to keep it lowkey) or email them to me at Brady@hailvarsity.com.

Ask me about Nebraska football, recruiting or anything along pop culture. Some questions in this week’s mailbag aren’t exactly Husker football. I’ll keep those on Twitter in the future when the football-specific questions come flowing in.

Let’s open up this bag and see what we’ve got.

Any update on Scott Frost’s five-day suspension? Can he just do it during a bye week or are there certain restrictions on it? — Mark

For those who don’t remember, Frost was handed a five-day suspension by the NCAA because a special teams analyst instructed players during the 2020 fall season. That exceeded the allowable 10 coaches on the sidelines. Frost was penalized because the NCAA said he knew about it and didn’t do anything.

I’ve reached out to the Nebraska athletic department for some clarity on this but haven’t gotten an answer. It’s my understanding from the NCAA ruling that Frost can serve that suspension at any point during the fall season. It could have been during fall camp, could be during a bye week. I haven’t seen anything that says those days have to be served consecutively either. I’ll keep you updated as I hear more about this.

Any insight on audibles? Has Casey (Thompson) called many? Does (Mark) Whipple encourage that or is he more of a “run what is called” guy? — Mark

Quarterback Casey Thompson has said he trusts the coaches and the plays called. He passes along things he sees on the field to offensive coordinator Mark Whipple and other coaches. From what I’ve heard from Whipple so far he seems open to quarterbacks changing plays on the field if they see something different.

I haven’t seen any time, either live or rewatching games, where Thompson seems to make a pre-snap audible. Kenny Pickett didn’t do that much at Pittsburgh either, so maybe it’s something with Whipple’s system. I couldn’t say for sure.

Keep in mind, everyone on the offense is learning this new system and the playbook is growing each week. So while I’m sure they’d change something if they see potential disaster in the pre-snap, they might be more focused on executing plays at game speed to see where they can improve.

Why do opening, scripted drives work so well? — Twitter

The easy answer is practice. Not sure how Nebraska coaches are doing it but when I played we practiced our 10 scripted plays from kickoff for two days against difference schemes and executed the script regardless of outcome. This was to determine how opponents shift their defense and how they move to stop those plays. Since Nebraska has scored on every first drive they’ve had of each half, I’d say their collaborative script is pretty great.

The problem has come from the little adversities. False start penalties, stuffed runs, incompletions, things like that. Whipple’s offensive system is built upon little gains here and there while getting athletes in space to make plays. If they face adversity, it’s on the athletes to overcome them. North Dakota kept Nebraska off guard with a different defense and Northwestern took advantage of timely turnovers.

Scripted or not, the offense won’t sustain much success with as many missed blocking assignments and dropped catches it’s had so far.

What is the status of Rahmir Johnson? — Twitter

That’s tough. He impressed coaches with his adaptability in fall camp. And coaches, including Frost, have a clear appreciation for him. Frost has said in press conferences that Johnson’s been kind of lost in the shuffle between receiver and running back. He’s also worked in special teams, something coordinator Bill Busch spoke highly about.

Frost has said they need to get him more involved because he’s too talented of a player to be left on the sidelines. This makes me think there could be some sort of package, similar to the one with Logan Smothers lining up at quarterback in the Northwestern game, that Johnson could be utilized in. But with so many new faces on offense, it’s realistic that he simply might have been leapfrogged by teammates.

Lorelei and Rory attended The Game between Harvard and Yale with Richard and Emily. What other college rivalry game would you have liked to see the four of them attend? — Zach

Because Stars Hollow is in the New England area, and the Ivy League lineage, I’d say they’d probably have fun at a Dartmouth and Princeton game. Probably the best rivalry there beyond The Game.

But I’m also a big believer in the Gilmore girls’ need to adventure outside the area so I think they’d appreciate The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party (Georgia v Florida), The Bayou Classic (Grambling State v Southern) and the Brawl of the Wild (Montana v Montana State). I think they’d get a kick out of the pageantry of a USC v Notre Dame game as well.

Considering Husker fans are Rory, what boyfriends are Pelini, Riley and Frost? — Derek

This one has been burning brain calories and I’ve gotten nowhere so we’re just going to wing it. Pelini is Dean. That’s the guy who hangs around you to convince you they’re worth your time but also acts and doesn’t care about who their actions hurt.

Riley is Logan. Compatible, similar backgrounds and they bring out good traits in each other. They make mistakes and learn from them to receive second chances. That makes Frost a Jess. Figure from the past that was involved in, maybe partially responsible for, some of your best childhood memories. Those were great times. After some separation, they return. You believe in them but you’ve got your guard up because you’ve been hurt so many times.

Now we need to know your top three The 1975 songs? — Sky

These are pretty fluid. I answered Sky on Monday that it’s, in order, “Menswear”, “Heart Out” and “A Change of Heart”. But I love so many more and one of my tattoos is inspired by their song “You”, so it’s tough to pin down.

For those who are completely lost, The 1975 is a British band that is probably my favorite at the moment. I listen to a variety of music from hip hop to folk to raggaeton to hardcore. And since I love music, you’ll probably see me work a lot of it into my work. Also, The 1975’s new album comes out in October so be prepared for that. I’ll try to not be annoying about it but no guarantees.

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