Husker Dan: Cut, Copy and Paste
I went online Sunday to see Scott Frost’s postgame press conference after the Huskers’ loss to Wisconsin. I watched it for a few minutes. Frost’s words rang familiar: “We made too many mistakes, had too many penalties. We need to do a better job of tackling. We need to get better on special teams. It’s just one or two plays that could have made a difference. We need better talent and more of it. And I need to do a better job of play calling...”
Then it dawned on me, the “presser” I was watching wasn’t the Wisconsin game, but rather an earlier Husker loss. Sadly, it’s the same tune, just a different song. All sportswriters have to do is to cut, copy and paste each week.
CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR?
The Huskers lost another game Saturday to Wisconsin, but in losing, Nebraska looked at least competitive at times and even led twice. I’m not one to find any comfort in losses, but maybe the Huskers did manage to show some improvement. Wisconsin had a great defense and Nebraska had almost 500 yards of total offense. I know, the result is another mind-numbing loss in the midst of a 4-6 season, but maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel.
I know Scott has had “only” 22 games to get his team coached up and only one real recruiting class to rebuild the program. And I know that Frost has 105 players on the roster who are either freshmen or sophomores. And I know that of his 22 starters, only 5 players on offense and 3 on defense are those he recruited. And Saturday, NU was without its starting nose tackle (Darrion Daniels), its starting offensive big play maker (RB/WR Wan’Dale Robinson) and starting D-lineman (Carlos Davis). And that made it all the more remarkable that Nebraska was even in the game Saturday.
Even if the Huskers win their next two games, Nebraska still will be assured of its third straight non-winning football season. But winning out would be a HUGE step for the Husker football program.
A bowl game affords Nebraska 15 additional practices – practices that many of those 105 players desperately need.
If the Huskers can’t get fired up for Maryland and Iowa with a bowl invitation on the line, then there’s something wrong. Both games are winnable for Nebraska. But beating Iowa will take a massive amount of improvement. Iowa is fundamentally sound enough that the Hawkeyes just wait for an opponent to make a mistake and then they pounce on them.
Beating just Maryland would make NU’s record 5-7, which would be a one-win improvement over last year’s 4-8 record. But if the Huskers don’t make it to a bowl game, it’s hard to imagine Nebraska getting much of a boost going into the offseason with just 5 wins.
AND I’LL RAISE YOU TWO!
Those of you (and you know who you are) who have expressed to me your surprise (?) that Husker A.D. Bill Moos would reward Scott Frost with a two-year contract extension (especially with Frost’s dismal record at Nebraska) is puzzling. And I agree. Sort of.
No doubt Moos made the extension to dispel any notion that Frost’s job was in jeopardy. Remember, the early signing date is only about a month away.
Was Moos influenced by what happened recently to the head football coaches at Arkansas (Chad Morris) and Florida State (Willie Taggart), both of whom were fired during their second seasons? Probably. But the extension is a wise move that should help the next couple of Husker recruiting classes.
Prior to kickoff, tickets for the Wisconsin-Nebraska game were going for $14 apiece. Wow! Pity all those fans who paid the $60 price tag, plus the honorarium that is required just to buy the tickets.
I just heard from Ben Cotton, son of former Husker player and former Husker football assistant, Barney. He said his dad recently received the miracle of a heart transplant in Omaha. Ben said his dad is doing better than they had even hoped for. And the real good news is that Barney’s back home recuperating. We’ll be praying for you, coach!
TICKETS FOR VETS
Because of my involvement with Husker Fans Salute The Troops (a non-profit organization that honors veterans, troopers, wounded warriors and Gold Star Families), we have developed a network of veterans in the Omaha/Lincoln area.
If you or anyone you know has tickets (football, basketball, volleyball, baseball or even concert tickets) and would like to donate them to veterans, please email me at HuskerDan@cox.net and I’ll try to find military personnel to use them. Advanced notice is really helpful. Many thanks!
Husker Dan has been a regular contributor to Huskerpedia and HuskerMax since 2003. Dan is a longtime Husker fan and former English major who has a bumper sticker that says “I Never Metaphor I Didn’t Like.” You may contact him at HuskerDan@cox.net.