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  • Writer's pictureJoey Jarzynka

Nebraska's Scott Frost Press Conference 11/11/19


Scott Frost Nebraska Head Coach

On the bye week “We kind of balanced our bye week time with going back to work with our team and getting our coaches out. We made some good progress on the road with recruiting, and we needed to have that week. It was good for us to get out and I think it’s going to make a difference for us in recruiting."

On recruiting “Response is great. Out and about, people know our program. The reaction to Nebraska football around the country is still unbelievable. People understand our staff and the direction we’re going. We’re getting nothing but positive response."

On scholarship offers “First and foremost, anybody we recruit, no matter where they come from, they need to be the right kind of kid. They have to love football and have a high character. Anytime we feel like we have a need that needs to be addressed a little more immediately, we’ll take a look there if we need to. I think there’s a few spots where it feels like we could use a little bit of extra help or depth come next year.”

On junior college football players “You have to love it at certain places and certain levels to do what they do and go through what they go through. If you go to one of the junior colleges, there’s some good places and they do a good job, but it’s not exactly some garden spots in America either. Kids have to be really committed to it to go through that. We found that with coaching in Florida and kids in Nebraska, they’re practicing in the heat in Florida on dirt fields and in Nebraska you’re practicing in the snow in November. There has to be a commitment and you have to love it. We put in a lot of work, and if you don’t love it, you’re not going to be as good.”

On beating Wisconsin “We need to get our program to where we can give them a run and compete with them because they’ve been consistently probably the best team in our half for quite a few years. Hats off to them and credit to where they are as a program. They’re probably going to have a target on their back from every Big Ten West team for a while because they’ve been at the top.”

On differences in what Wisconsin does compared to other teams “You don’t see much of it anymore [fullbacks and tight ends]. It used to be kind of the norm in football, but now teams that run a more standard offense are a little more of an outlier. You get used to, on defense, the one back running game and the one back run fits. The run fits are quite a bit different with two fullbacks. They have a really good offensive line. I think the quarterback is good. The running back, obviously, a lot of people talk about him. The kid playing fullback for them does a good job opening up holes for them and they have some really good guys on the outside. They have the talent to be really good, and I think their scheme is good and really unique in this day and age in college football.”

On defending Wisconsin junior running back Jonathan Taylor “We have to be in the right spots and man up and tackle him when we get our chances. We misfit a couple a year ago up there and he had a couple of big runs. He ran through some tackles too, and that’s what good running backs do. We have to be ready for him.”

On what makes Wisconsin’s defense successful “They have talent.  I think they’re a better defense than they were a year ago for sure. They got a few players who are real difference makers. I have been really impressed with 56 (senior linebacker Zach Baun). He’s all over the field. He’s a pass rusher. He tackles everywhere. He’s physical. There’s a lot of good guys around, him too. They are very sound. They don’t give you much easy. They stay on top of things in the pass game and get a lot of people in the box to stuff the run. I think that both sides of the ball complement who they are. They know their identity, and they are good at it.”

On why Wisconsin is so good at getting to the quarterback “They bring a pressure every now and then. Particularly in the Northwestern game, they had one where they brought a guy off of the field, and that was one of the plays that made a difference in that game. On top of that, they have guys who can get on top of the quarterback with a three or four-man pass rush. That’s a real big piece to have on the defensive side of the ball so you can keep your guys in coverage and still feel like you can get home.”

On what Illinois did well against Wisconsin I think Wisconsin made a couple of mistakes that kept Illinois around, then Illinois made a couple of big plays. They fought them. It was physical on both sides. I thought Illinois was physical when we went up there. They hit one long run with a really good running back and one long pass play. The free safety missed a play on that. Anytime you keep teams around in this league, the game can go either way. I’m sure they have a couple of plays they want back, but that can happen in this league.”

On what he wants to see from Adrian Martinez “He needs to be more consistent again. Again, a lot of things get put on that kid’s shoulders. We need to be better around him, but I think he can play better than he did last week. It’s just consistency, making sure he completes balls and gets the balls to them and just being a little more definitive with his decisions. He needs to be a little sharper and crisper so balls are coming out quicker and decisions are made quicker.”

On if he has felt like the offense has made progress from last season I think there has been a lot of progress made. I don’t think you can always see it because some of it has not been made in other areas just because of circumstances with some things. We are playing some young guys on the offensive line. I think they can continue to get better. I think we have had solid play from our tight ends. The running backs have played well at times. It’s been kind of a revolving door back there a little bit with injuries and other things. There’s definitely some areas where we’ve improved. We need the rest of the pieces to catch up with that improvement.”

On what he has seen from redshirt freshman center Cam Jurgens the past couple of weeks “Knock on wood, the problems with the snaps have gotten a lot better. That was a real issue early. I think that kind of upset our timing a lot early. You've got to understand with Cam Jurgens, we've got high hopes for him. He’s never played offensive line. He’s a redshirt freshman, and we threw him in the fire because of his talent. He’s done a really good job. Some of the issues he is working through right now won’t be issues going forward. It’s kind of like playing a freshman quarterback. You have to live through some of those things. Cam is going to be a pretty good player around here.” 

On Dicaprio Bootle playing safety “We wouldn’t have had the problem at all, losing Deontei (Williams) at the beginning of the year was rough for us. He was one of our best guys. That has kind of us in scramble mode all year and kind of made us play Cam Taylor in different places. And then with Cam Taylor down, we tried to address it the best we could. Dicap’s (Dicaprio Bootle) natural position is corner and I expect that is where he will be unless we have need again.”

On freshman tight end Chris Hickman “He is going to be a good player. I get really excited. One it is good to be back on the field with the guys again after a bye week. I think everybody just needs to get back out there. It is a lot of fun. I have a lot of excitement about the future when I see a lot of the young kids and Chris Hickman is one of them. He hasn’t played a lot this year, but he has really shown us some things in practice and on the game field. We are going to use him as much as we can and still try to save his year.”

On Chris Hickman’s blocking against Purdue “It is one of the things I love about Chris. He was sick as a dog against Purdue. But, he wasn’t going to tell anybody and he was going to be out there. We didn’t play him as many snaps as we wanted to because of circumstances in the game and because of him being sick. But, when he was out there he did a great job. He has consistently been one of our best, if not our best perimeter blocker in practice so he was just able to show that in the game.”

On the bye week “Guys looked like they were having a lot of fun out there today, which is great to see. We work too hard not to enjoy it. It was a really good Monday practice with a lot of energy.”

On Maurice Washington “I will talk about that after the New Year.”

On the team’s attitude “I think the vast majority of our kids love the game, like what we are doing, see the direction we are going in and are really optimistic about what is going to happen. They are enjoying being around each other. The tighter knit your team is, the better chance you have of getting through good times or bad times.”

On limiting Wisconsin’s possession time “We are going to have to be efficient of offense. We have been in these games and they do a great job managing the clock - I think they are leading the country in time of possession. So, you can’t count on getting 80 plays like you would in a lot of games [or] 85 games. You better try to do what you can do in 55 plays. That is their brand of football and they are good at it, so usually they dictate the clock and the time of possession and you have to be efficient on both sides.”

On Matt Farniok’s comment that the team is sick of beating itself “Well we are all tired of it. Not to take anything away from anyone else, there are several games this year that if we just didn’t make some mistakes the outcome could have been different. I think everybody sees that. I wish the team just had a little bit more conviction to get it done at times, and I wish we would get to a point where some of those mistakes aren’t happening. We are addressing them, we are teaching them, the guys are tired of little mistakes here and there and part of that is having a young team in a lot of places and that has cost us some. But, part of it is just a mindset to do jobs perfectly and we have to continue to be better as coaches to make sure that happens, and the players have to help us with it.”  

On players’ comments on not making mistakes “That’s what we preach all the time. Letting it rip allows you to play just a little bit faster and sometimes just a little bit faster is what it takes to get a play executed. We haven’t been very far away in several games. We haven’t been very far away on quite a few plays and just a little more is [going to] get us around the corner and get us over the hump. I think maybe a little bit of fear of making a mistake is from being young players, too. When those guys are out there you learn as a player not every play is going to be perfect. All you can do is your best on every play and that ‘s how we’re going to continue to try to get our guys to play.”

On the Minnesota and Penn State game “I don’t know if I was surprised. That was a good game. I thought it was two good teams. I think what it shows you is in this league, a play here and there is going to make a difference in games and that happened in that game. In this league and really anywhere in football when things are going well for you and you’re on a roll, you can kind of catch that momentum and ride it and when it’s going the other way it seems like bad things happen to you over and over and you [have] to try and be one of those teams that gets some momentum like they have. [I’m] happy for them.”

On the test of the next three weeks “To win in this league [you’ve got] to be big and strong and physical. That’s obvious to anybody inside the league or outside the league. Wisconsin and Iowa have certainly been two of the biggest and most physical teams in this league. That’s the reason they’ve had success. Our guys are stronger and I think more capable of playing in these types of games this year than last year, but we’ve got to keep working and make sure we’re a bigger team and stronger team and more physical team, too. We’ll continue to do that as well as we can through strengthen and conditioning and through recruiting. I think our guys are more suited to it this year than we were 12 months ago.”

On Ohio State “I said after the game that was one of the best teams I have been on the field with. There’s no holes in that team. They’ve got really good players at every position and when you have that, players that make plays work. You can talk about scheme all you want, but when you have got really good players, stuff is going to work for you. I think it is honestly as good of team as we played in the national championship, when I coached in that, everybody’s in danger of stubbing their toe somewhere, but I really don’t see it happening to them and personally I expect them to be in the playoff against some of the best teams in the country.” 

On sophomore wide receiver Kade Warner “Kade gives us somebody we can get out there and trust and be in the right spot and do the right things. That’s a plus.” 

On the last scholarship spot on the team  “No we did, we can do it retroactive, so pay for their semester whenever we get it to them. We wanted to give it to a guy that earned it and represented Nebraska best, and I ended up giving it to [senior running back] Wyatt Mazour.” 

On Frost’s coaching style compared to Wisconsin  “I think if you run any scheme on offense or defense really well just about any scheme can work if you’re good at it and have the right players for it. I believe in what we do, it’s what I know the best. Our system can work if we have the right guys and run it well, their system can work if they have the right guys and run it well. It’s just philosophical differences and I think there’s definitely some pieces of what they do that we would like to emulate. Definitely their size and physicality regardless of what offense you run, you need to have those things.”

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