Nebraska's Scott Frost Pre-Press Conference vs. Northwestern
Opening Statement "Before we get started with the press conference, we had some losses to our Husker family last week I just want to acknowledge. Ron Licht was liked and a long-time Husker fan and attending the game, his son Jason is the general manager for the Buccaneers. His daughter, Patty, is a school teacher in town. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. Christian Gaylord, one of the best teammates on our team, lost his father this past week. Our players did a good job supporting him, and Jordan Paup lost his grandfather and his niece last week, so just want to acknowledge that and let everyone know the team's doing everything we can and our thoughts and prayers are with all those people." On if he thinks turnovers are contagious "No, I don't think turnovers are contagious. Our guys need to be very aware of taking care of the ball. The turnovers last week, a lot of credit goes to them [Ohio State]. I think that's a really good team. They created a couple and we had one that was a bad break. We didn't put any on the ground, and I want our guys to be really conscientious just about taking care of the football." On Northwestern and the series "I've only been a part of one of them but I am astute of what's happened around here and seeing all the close games that have happened between Northwestern and Nebraska, including last year. Hail Mary's and overtime games. They're just such a well-coached team year-in and year-out. They're disciplined and they’re smart. They’re not going to beat themselves. Those kinds of teams end up in a lot of close games. If we're in one, we need our guys to respond well." On takeaways from this weekend "We had a great practice this morning. The guys are excited. Everything they want to accomplish is still right in front of them. I told my guys to put that one behind us fast. We need to be focused on this week and concentrating on practicing as well as we can to get ready for this game." On division games "It's always critical to win, but we've got to keep improving. This game is the most important. Once we finish this one, the next one will be the most important. This is the time of year you start to get a little tired and beat up, and every team in the country is that way. We're no exception. We've got two weeks here before we can get to a bye week and get recovered a little bit. We need to practice this week like it's our first game, last game, most important game. Then we'll flip the script and do the same thing next week. Then we'll get a chance to rest the guys a little bit." On if any young receivers are close to getting some playing time “I hope so. Darien [Chase] needs to keep getting his chances. I think the more chances he gets the more plays he’ll make outside. I think we’ll give Jaron Woodyard a little more of a look this week. We need some more guys playing out there, and we’re just going to have to force feed them and bring them along.” On his assessment of where the offensive line is at “Looking back on the tape, I thought in the run game we went out and did a pretty good job, opened up some holes against a good front. We didn’t protect very well Saturday. We need to keep improving on those things. We need to keep getting a little more movement in the run game and keep giving Adrian a little more time so he feels comfortable in the pocket. At times we’ve looked really good, at others it hasn’t been up to our standards, so it’s just a matter of going to work and continuing to improve.” On if there are any adjustments Adrian Martinez can make if he isn’t getting time in the pocket “One thing we’ve talked about today and are going to talk about all week is making sure Adrian is dealing with things that he’s expecting and not a bunch of uncertainties. That means receivers need to be in the right spots and protection being a little bit better. Snaps being better. We’re putting an awful lot on him anyway, but when he is worried about where the snap is, worried about who is coming unblocked, worried about if his receiver is going to be in the right place. That’s too much to put on a quarterback. So, we’ll continue to dial all those things in I think. As some of our young guys on offense get some more reps, get some more experience, they’ll continue to get better.” On how Martinez is playing right now in Frost's eyes “He’s doing well. He played tough Saturday. He got us some yards when there wasn’t anything there. He was dealing with a lot of pass rush with very little time to make decisions. They [Ohio State] have a really good team. They’re number one on my ballot and the season will play out, but where it sits right now that’s as good as a team I’ve seen, and he was dealing with a lot of that. I think that he did pretty well under the circumstances.” On what kind of challenges Northwestern will present defensively “Northwestern has a really good defense. They always will, I think as long as that coaching staff is there. They’re physical, they don’t allow you to run through the tackles very easily. Their defensive backs play off and don’t give up anything big, and they do a good job rallying to the football. So, they do a good job making you earn what you get. They’ve been running basically the same scheme for a long time and are successful with it, so we’re in the mindset that we need to go earn whatever yards we get.” On what made him shift his offensive style to a "Flex bone" formation (I-Formation) “Flex bone huh? Nothing. We have some personnel that I think can run it. You can’t run that stuff unless you’ve been working on it. We’ve been working on it for a long time. Some of the things we’re running fit the defense that they gave us. I thought the guys went out and executed that well. We had a whole drive that we put together with that stuff. They called timeout, and then we had an unlucky play on a pass play. We’ll see more of that stuff going forward. I want that to be a piece of what we’re doing. It’s part of what Nebraska has been built on and the fabric of what we are, what we need to get back to a little bit. We have the right personnel to do it. So, we’ll pick our spots but it certainly looked pretty good on the first time out.” On why he waited until Ohio State to bring it out “It had to do with the defensive scheme that we were going up against and how close I felt we were to being able to execute it.” On running back Maurice Washington “Maurice is a factor. When he’s on the field we need to keep him on the field. He’s been nicked up a little bit a couple of times. He’s heading in a good direction we just need him to be reliable and be there for all four quarters for our toughest games, and if he is then we’re going to be a better team.” On what we should be calling the "Flex bone" formation “I guess I would call it an I-Formation. Maybe I’m not an expert.” On what he tells quarterbacks when they’re going through struggles “I don’t want to phrase it that Adrian was going through struggles. If you look at the tape, he got flushed a bunch, was trying to make things happen. Mario (Verduzco) talks to him, I went over and talked to him two or three times. He doesn’t get rattled so that’s not an issue. We just need to communicate with him what we’re going to do to adjust and fix things, but I’m not for a second painting it as Adrian struggles. We win and lose as a team. We make great plays and bad plays as a team.” “And Sip [Steven Sipple, Lincoln Journal Star] just to clarify a little, we were in I-Formation some and I would call the other one double-wing set.” On if he got any flashbacks from showing Martinez how to run the option in practice “Flashbacks? I don’t know. I've never grown so old that I don’t remember it, or think about it. There’s a lot of timing to it. There’s a feel you have to get for it. Sometimes seeing it on tape is good. Sometimes seeing it in person is good. If he can watch somebody who runs a 5.1 40 do it and can get something from it, then I will keep showing him.” On how big the next three weeks are with games against Northwestern, Minnesota, then a bye “Painting with broad strokes, recapturing momentum, that can happen tomorrow in practice, so that we play well on Saturday. We’re focused on this one game. If you want me to look at the whole layout of the season, I think it’s good. We’re not a team with a ton of depth right now, I think it’s good that this is a year where the schedule falls and we have two bye weeks. These next two weeks, we are going to sell out and do everything that we can until we get to that bye week. Then we've got two more and we get another bye week. I think that will give us a chance to lick our wounds, heal up a little bit physically and recuperate mentally too, and breaks up the season pretty well for us.” On the importance of Saturday’s game being broadcast in Spanish on the radio “I think that’s awesome. I took three years of Spanish in high school. Liz Hodtwalker was my Spanish teacher in Wood River. My favorite class probably in high school. If you don’t use it, you lose it, so I don’t remember as much as I should now, but I think there’s a lot of residents in Nebraska where Spanish is their first language. Nebraska’s one team, one heartbeat and one state, one heartbeat. I think it’s great that we are going to broadcast the game that every Nebraska fan can enjoy it.” On what he wants to get out of the new facilities project “I tried to say it in my press conference [on Friday]. I think one of the things that made Nebraska, Nebraska was giving the student-athletes the best of the best and giving them every opportunity to develop into the best people that they can become. When I was here, we had the best nutrition, the best strength and conditioning, the best weight room, the best academic support with Dennis (Leblanc) who is still here, the best life skills to help you get a job after college. You really felt like when you were a student-athlete here on a campus that you had dozens and hundreds of people that had your best interest at heart and that would help you be the best that you can be. To be honest, we have fallen behind a few people in a couple of those areas. It’s great to see the state of Nebraska and some of the people that are contributing to this and helped us decide that we want to get to a point where we are giving our student-athletes the best of the best. I think that’s going to help us compete at the highest level.” On California's decision for players to profit on their image and likeness “That’s awfully political and I don’t want to get into it too much, but I hope that at the end of the day college football and college athletics survive in a way that allows opportunities for all students that want to compete to compete. I think there’s obviously some points that could be made for athletes being compensated for all the work they put in, but I hope it doesn’t destroy opportunities and competitive balance in other things that make our sports fun to watch and what they are. It’s a slippery slope, and I hope there are smart people that can navigate it and it ends up in a good place.” On what he thinks about local state governments intervening in the issue “Again, that’s awfully political. I just think one thing you have to be smart about, if you start paying players there’s only so much money to go around and people see a new facility we’re building and other things that schools have and think there must be money, and there is but once you start paying a football player you have to pay every student-athlete and that’s an awfully big drain on our budget depending on how much is paid. I’m not sure there is a lot of places that can afford that kind of commitment, and I think it really puts the fabric where college athletics are right now in a precarious position. Like I said, I’m not smart enough to figure all those things out, but I hope there are people to help navigate through this.” On the new facilities “Well it’s still kind of in infancy stage now. There’s no designs or anything done. I think that’s going to be done down the road. One of the things I’m excited about is getting all our student-athletes a little bit closer to campus, closer to their professors, closer to all their talented people on our campus. Having an academic center that is going to be steps away from the business building, steps away from the rest of their classes on campus, I think is going to be a big advantage for us and just improve the day-to-day life of all our student-athletes. They’re not going to have to walk all the way around to the bottom of East Stadium anymore, then walk all the way back across campus to Love Library, it’s going to make their lives a lot easier and allow them to spend more time with us and with Dennis (Leblanc) in academics. There’s a lot of things that are going to benefit a lot of our student-athletes. We’re not done with the design yet. I think that will happen going forward but there’s some really good ideas but I think the general theory of what they are going to accomplish with this is going to help us a lot.” On getting feedback from all the aspects of the athletic department (strength and conditioning, nutrition, etc.) “Obviously the designers and architects are going to have the most say in it. Dave Ellis is an example, he’s gone all across the country helping other people set up their nutrition centers and their kitchens to fuel athletes. We have some of the foremost experts in those areas right here on campus. We’ll lean hard on them. I’m excited about it. Obviously, we’re focused on football right now, but there’s going to be some fun things going forward.” On criticism of sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez “I can’t believe he needs to be defended if you know football and watch that game. There’s a lot of things that needed to be fixed. It’s just the nature of the game that the head coach and quarterback can get all the praise and the blame, and I think he knows that. He fought and made some good plays for us Saturday. He’s going to make some incredible plays for us going forward, that’s just the ups and the downs of the game. Adrian’s going to be just fine.” On Martinez putting blame on himself “No, I think he’s smart enough to know that. I think if you’re a competitor, the first place you look when things don’t go well is yourself. We do it as coaches, too. 'What one play could we have called differently or what thing could we have done differently?' If you’re a competitor, you don’t point fingers, you point the thumb at yourself and that’s the first place you look when you try to improve. I’m sure he’s doing the same thing. He’s played well all year. He’ll continue to play better. He’s a great kid and a great player.” On transitioning from UCF success to now “No, it isn’t a harder job. I knew a lot of the challenges coming in here. I’ve been watching Nebraska for a long time and it was a long way away from what it needed to be and where it should have been. Those changes can’t happen overnight. There’s a lot of ways to look at things. Going into that game, we won seven of our last 10 games and two of those losses after last night were to Ohio State. Good things are coming. You’re never satisfied with where they are. You always want it to go faster, but I don’t think anyone in our building doubts that things are coming and it’s going to make it even sweeter when you get there when you go through these things. I wouldn’t say it’s harder than I thought. We knew it was going to be a big challenge and it has been, but I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made and I’m excited to make more.” On the team's progress "I don’t have a schedule. My schedule is to get better, and we are. We’re a lot better than we were week one, and we’re a lot better than we were last year. We’re going to have to play well to win Saturday. Northwestern is a good team. We’re going to have to play well the next week. So, we have to keep improving and our kids have to understand that that’s the goal every day."