Here are some quick takes and reactions following Monday’s Husker football press conference featuring Nebraska head coach Scott Frost and players.
Managing the ups and downs of 2020 has not been easy for Frost
The last week was been a microcosm of the last several months for Scott Frost and the Nebraska football program.
NU went from having a game vs. Wisconsin, then having it canceled. Then they had the possibility of having a game with Tennessee-Chattanooga, only to have the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors say no to that.
This has been Frost’s world since the late spring when he began fighting and preparing his football team to play in 2020.
Add last week as another chapter to that. The question is how much more can his football team take? There’s only so many ups and down his players are going to be able to handle.
Really now it’s all about getting back on the field and playing. Frost joked on Monday that they’ve officially set a football record in terms of “most practices” with only playing one game.
“I think our program is ready to turn a big-time corner,” Frost said on Monday. “But it’s tough if we’re given circumstances where we can’t get on the field and get better. I think our kids are anxious to get back out there and try to compete to win a game. ”
This will be a different week for every Big Ten team
The silver lining of this for Nebraska is they have gotten a couple of extra days of work for Northwestern when every other school in the league has one less day of preparation for their Saturday games.
Every Big Ten school will take Election Day off on Tuesday. There will also be no Friday games in the Big Ten because of the Tuesday election.
That allowed NU to have some extra preparation time on both Friday and Saturday to start game-planning for the Wildcats.
NU took Sunday off and came back to practice on Monday. That extra preparation time should be big, considering Northwestern now has two full games on film with their new offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian, who comes to Evanston after stops at Boston College (2019) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2015-2018).
It appears the Wildcats will have a more pro-style element added to their offense, compared to the predominantly spread offense they’ve run the last several years.
The ‘little things’ are more important than ever this week
It almost gets old. But every time you talk about Northwestern, you say things like “they don’t beat themselves” or they “execute and do all the little things.”
This will be the 10th straight year the Huskers have played Northwestern – the most of any Big Ten opponent. Nebraska currently holds a narrow 5-4 edge in this series since they joined the Big Ten in 2011.
Seven of the nine meetings between Nebraska and Northwestern have been decided by 7 points or less. To take it a step further, six of those seven games have been decided by 3 points or less.
The road team has also held a decisive edge in the series, as six of the nine meetings have been won by the visiting squad.
The three times the home team won came off a Nebraska Hail Mary in the last second, a Husker last-second field goal by a walk-on safety and an overtime comeback victory by Northwestern in 2018.
This all once again circles back to the “little things.” They will matter this week as much as ever. Drive killing penalties and costly turnovers have to improve for the Huskers this week at Northwestern.
This game has a ‘must-win’ type feel for Nebraska
You hate to say it, but this game on Saturday really does have a must-win feel to it for Nebraska.
Penn State will come to Lincoln on Nov. 14 in a similar fashion. Just the simple fact that NU didn’t play last week vs. Wisconsin, everything about this season feels behind for Nebraska.
They need to find a way to get a win on the road as a slight underdog this week to get this season back on track and show that the first 30 minutes at Ohio State were not a fluke.
Also, if the Wildcats win on Saturday and get to 3-0 in the Big Ten, that is a massive lead when you are only playing an eight-game schedule. Their two crossovers are already very favorable as well, as the Wildcats drew Maryland and Michigan State.