Husker Dan: Dawn or darker days ahead?
Husker head football coach Scott Frost said in his postgame press conference Saturday just after the Huskers lost to Troy that it’s always darkest before the dawn.
And before the season even began, he said teams had better get us (the Huskers) early because we are going to be tough to beat later.
And at least through the first two games, we’re seeing the meaning of his words. There was so much anticipation – especially from Husker fans – that we were going to see a much better disciplined team this fall than those of the past few years under Mike Riley.
And with an 0-2 record entering this week’s game at the Big House with Michigan, it seems as though Scott Frost and the Huskers will likely fall to 0-3. Husker fans are passionate, knowledgeable and, at times, an impatient lot.
And for now, impatience is not a bad thing.
A HOT TICKET?
As I made my way to the game Saturday, I was somewhat surprised to see so many tickets for sale. And especially at or below face value. Sure, it was a hot day. No question. But I thought Husker fans would want to be a part of (what many of us thought would be) Scott Frost’s first win as the Husker head coach.
If the reason for the drop-off was because of the heat and humidity, that’s totally understandable. Or if fans thought the game was going to be a blowout win for Nebraska, I get that, too.
But maybe Husker fans (including me) have spent too much time thinking about how and when the Huskers can become bowl eligible. Instead, maybe we should just focus on the game at hand.
A TRIP TO THE BIG HOUSE
And this week it’s Michigan. The Wolverines are probably giddy about playing the Huskers this week. They are going to be licking their chops over the fact that NU is winless and remember Scott Frost’s comment regarding the B1G defenses having to adjust to his team’s offense. They can’t wait to hammer the Huskers. The Wolverines want to rub Nebraska’s nose in it. You get the idea.
Michigan (2-1) lost to maybe a not-so-good Notre Dame team at South Bend to begin the season. (The now 3-0 Fighting Irish also edged Ball State and Vanderbilt.) And Michigan’s two wins have been over Western Michigan and SMU.) Has Michigan been tested yet? Has Nebraska been tested? We’ll find out more about both teams this Saturday.
The Wolverines seemed to have trouble with Notre Dame’s mobile quarterback, Brandon Wimbush. If (and that might be a big if) Adrian Martinez is anywhere close to 100% this Saturday, Nebraska might be able keep the game close enough to maybe pull out a win.
I don’t know if Scott Frost meant in his “darkest” quote that he was referring to this season, this week or someday, but if the Huskers get AM healthy and eliminate stupid mistakes this week, Husker fans might be waking up to a new dawn of Husker football.
GOT ‘R DONE!!
Last Thursday night, I got to meet rabid Husker fan and great comedian Dan Whitney (aka “Larry The Cable Guy”) at the Press Club’s roast of longtime Husker sportscaster Kent Pavelka.
Dan’s lost 50 pounds and looks great! Someday I’d love to interview him. I don’t care who you are, that’s a great goal!
PART THREE OF WHAT FROST NEEDS TO DO
Over the past couple of months, I had a chance to visit with some former Husker football players about what they thought Scott Frost needed to do to restore the Husker football program to national prominence. This week’s commentator is former Husker linebacker great Trev Alberts.
TREV ALBERTS (Linebacker ’90-’93)
• 1993 Consensus All-American
• 1993 Butkus Award
• 1993 Jack Lambert Trophy
It’s going to take a lot more than Scott Frost. And I don’t mean that in a negative way. It will take doing things the right way, with integrity and substance. There needs to be a consistent, coordinated effort for all the right reasons. Personal agendas must not be allowed to get in the way.
And Scott Frost knows what excellence looks like. There must be fundamental values. You must:
• Define who you are going to be.
• Know the types of players you need to recruit.
• Teach the players.
• Have a commitment to NU by everyone.
Scott Frost’s message to the in-state recruits is great. His staff is working hard to show up regularly at high schools even if they (high schools) don’t have a big star recruit.
Scott and I come from similar environments – small town, agriculture background. We come from families that took no excuses.
It’s a process to turn things around. Frost will focus on the goal of having his teams to be tough to play against. When I played, we never talked about national championships. We just thought about what we could do each day to get better. You want Tuesday to be better than Monday, and Wednesday to be better than Tuesday. And every player needs to stay in class. The players need to focus on what they can control and nothing else.
We won a lot of games before we ever played them. How’s that possible? Opponents had to watch game film of us and they knew they were going to be in for a bad day.
People get all excited about wide receivers etc., but the biggest area of improvement needs to be the offensive and defensive lines. That’s how games are won – in the trenches. “Skill” players are easy to find-it’s the offensive and defensive linemen who are much harder to get.
You may contact the writer at HuskerDan@cox.net.