McKeown: How Nebraska football begins to clean up the mess caused by frost | College

FIND THE MEDIA ENTRANCE TO AVIVA DUBLIN COURT – You can walk everywhere in Dublin, not feel like you’re going anywhere, and encounter Husker fans most steps of the way.

Before Nebraska lost to Northwestern, I spoke with some VIPs off the field. donors. Decision-makers. Someone jokingly asked me to recite a prayer at 5:30pm Dublin time. when the match kicks off.

If most of Nebraska’s week in Ireland seemed like a fun homage to the fan base, the anxiety gushed right under the previous month of preparation—in fact the entirety—was like water in the basement. Treff Alberts had given Scott Frost another chance, but even Alberts admitted it was a risk without much evidence of work. He’ll have a little more patience with Frost in 2022.

And I’ve long believed that Frost’s decision to try the side kick was a byproduct of that tension. There is still no good explanation for this. If he thinks, as he said, he has the better team – why not trust him by 11 points? absence of security? Don’t have enough to do on the sidelines? A surprising rebellious idea to put his stamp on the game?

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And so the Huskers collapsed, quickly, that night in Ireland and two weeks later in Lincoln, against South Georgia, when Frost’s reasoning for not trying a fourth and short was equally strange.

“At that point in the game, we weren’t going to win until we stopped anyway,” Frost said in his last press conference.

Well check. But the Nebraska defense could have been stopped after, after I picked up NU’s offense in 4th place – which is what would have happened. It was literally an inch.

But that was Frost in a nutshell. He can organize many good press conferences, rally the team for a week, put together a good pre-season plan for Ireland – and then make the impulsive decision to shoot the moon in the hands of hearts.

Perhaps Alberts, a shrewd observer with a healthy self, quickly found out about Frost. So Nebraska’s gamble to give Frost a final year – with the takedown reduced – had more to do with the many people who wanted the Age of Frost to do than it had to do with Frost himself. The past nine months Charles Foster Kane has been insisting that Susan Alexander was an opera star – “My reasons satisfy me!”

In the end, Frost’s release was an anti-climate. It would not be the protracted war that ended the reign of Po Bellini. Nor should. Poe won nine a year. Frost coached the equivalent of four full seasons — 47 games — and won four each time.

Alberts, over the course of 20 minutes on Sunday, threw in a lot of picks, but here was the filet mignon: “This place will always be bigger than one person. And that’s the way it should be.”

No, Nebraska will not allow the crew of Fox’s Big Noon into town and talk for two hours about Frost’s failures. What kind of program announcement is this? This way, the Huskers sell the page turner to a national audience and fans who might be curious to see what a Husker would look like without Frost.

Here’s what we know about Nebraska reaching the season finale:

>>Transport-laden crime can win matches. Cunning Casey Thompson makes accurate passes and executes them better than expected. The concepts of offensive coordinator Mark Whipple evoke an openness to men. And Nebraska has legit No. 1 in Anthony Grant’s return. All the top ten are good. Supporting him, Ajay Allen, is also tough. The streak was not horrible, and it will continue to gel. The assembled staff love each other. coexist. Frost was the strange man in that group. And now he’s gone.

>>The Big Ten West is average to poor. That’s not to say Nebraska will do something great in the division, but a good Husker team–the 2014 group, for example–is likely to win it. Iowa can’t move the ball. Wisconsin reached a plateau and scored fewer points against Washington State than Idaho. Minnesota cannot yet be judged on playing New Mexico or Western Illinois. Illinois has a superb defense – coordinator Ryan Walters is a rising star – and questionable offense. Bordeaux? I still think Bordeaux is very tough – my favorite to win the degree – but it’s not a juggernaut.

>>Nebraska defense cannot solve talent deficiencies through free agency or waiver wire. The mummies will just have to get better. Inept recruiting along the defensive line, in the inner-back and safety leaving NU without sufficient depth and expertise. On Saturday, two Nebraska rookie players joined the team as favorites — another, Isaac Gifford, was placed on a scholarship during his first fall — while Nash Hotmacher, Marquis Buford, Ernest Houseman and Tommy Hill were in the prime of their college careers. .

A lot of the experienced guys – Ty Robinson, Caleb Tanor, Miles Farmer, Luke Reimer – weren’t annoying enough. Farmer is a sharp guy and clearly adapts to lead a defence. It’s a bumpy ride. Reimer is a small-sized supporter; He should get out of the blocks more often or make use of a better defensive line.

So what now? Embrace the absorbency, order the compression packs, and let Hill, Quentin Newsom and Gifford hold up on the back end. Teams will go after Gifford – in the all-important nickel area. Pound for pound, there may be no tougher, fiercer Huskies on this D from Gifford. But he’s not Jojo Doman yet.

>>Mummy, especially in defense, is not much stronger than their opponents, and the most athletically skilled players have arrived for the team in the past eight months.. There is nothing that can be done at the moment, but Nebraska spends an armored truck’s worth of money selecting, training, feeding and building athletes. Outside of Grant—created by JUCOs, perhaps on fast food—and a few others, NU isn’t unusually fast, liquid, or blunt. why? Is it recruiting? development? Complacency? Besides Grant, the most troubled athlete on campus may be an outside hitter for the Nebraska Volleyball Team. How did Whitney Lowenstein do that? Maybe someone should ask her.

You can say a few things — and people did — about the Dave Kennedy and James Dobson eras of strength and conditioning, but Nebraska had its share of cut-down guys — and resilient athletes — from 2004 through 2014. Well, Randy Gregory showed up, straight out of his parents’ basement before Starting school straight away, looks like the first player in the NFL. Still – this is recruiting. Same for Dijon Gomez, Prince Amukamara, Damon Stafford, Prince Abdullah, Malik Collins, Joshua Kalou, and now Grant and Allen.

Nebraska has height and height. This is correct. It needs more explosive power, speed, agility, and fluidity. Joseph may not share his thoughts on the slate, but he probably does.

>>The problems are deeper than this season. Ochaun Mathis hasn’t played for great teams in TCU, but he’s an honest dealer regarding Nebraska’s changing room.

“There’s a losing culture going on,” he said on Sunday. “A lot of players don’t know what it’s like to win at this point.”

Joseph, who trained at LSU, knows what it looks like, and what’s more, he can be a practitioner of tough love. It wouldn’t be the worst thing if the players got a change of perspective after their former head coach couldn’t hide his feelings about any number of things, including missing out on communication missions. Good leadership involves maximizing the potential of others, and in football, this requires a balance between encouragement and outspoken advice.

Can Joseph mix the two in such a way that the team loosens up to play the Big Ten?

Beating Oklahoma, in what has effectively become another weird week on the show, seems like a tough task. But, after that, eight league matches are waiting for you. Nebraska has offense to earn its share. Win six of them and Joseph might get a real crack at being the permanent coach.

You bet he’ll be excited. This is his chance.

“I think we have the opportunity to hire an outstanding coach who can lead our program,” Alberts said. “I’d love to see Mickey grow in this field. We’ll just see where it goes. But we’ll do national research, and if, at this point, Mickey is an obvious candidate, he’ll be part of that conversation as well.”

It’s time for a new chapter in the book. Let’s see if it has an abrupt end.

5.65: Yards per carry allowed, which is bad for hiding your eyes and second worst among all Power Five teams (Colorado is last at 7.10). NU is on pace to be worse than the 2017 unit that allowed 5.57 yards per carry, even though that defense hit a late bottom, effectively halting buying in defensive coordinator Bob Diako’s chart. The group of 17 had more talent than this.

18: Times, under defensive coordinator Eric Chinander, reported that Nebraska allowed 200 yards or more to rush into an opponent. By year, it is divided as follows: five times in 2018 and 2019; four times in 2020; and twice in both 2021 and 2022. Iowa allowed more than 200-yard dash three times in that period. It explains a lot, right?

91.67%: Nebraska’s impressive drop in the red zone. Twelve flights, 11 terra. The season is still young, and that drop rate is not going to continue, given that 80% is the upper range for an entire season of work, but, still – that’s really good. NU managed to run well in the red, averaging 3.78 yards per carry within 20 opponents.

2185: Days since Nebraska beat the Power Five in a non-collective play. That goes back to September 17, 2016, and NU’s 35-32 win over Oregon – one of the best Saturdays in the past 10 years. Since then, the Hulkers have lost to Oregon (2017), Colorado (2018 and 2019) and Oklahoma (2021). Those losses were 7, 5, 3 and 7 points.

2: The Sunbelt’s Big Ten Losses of the Last Decade. Nebraska is responsible for both – for Troy and now, GSU. But there are plenty of “almost” defeats there, too. Georgia State nearly beat Big Ten West champion Wisconsin in 2016. Georgia South lost by three to Minnesota’s 11-winners in 2019. NU in 2017 beat Arkansas State by seven, facing a pass to the end zone in end of the match. The Big Ten has a 34-4 overall record against Sun Belt teams—which doesn’t include the Appalachian State’s time in FCS, for example—while NU is 4-2.

>> No. 7 Oklahoma messed with a bad team at Kent State for a half—the OU only advanced 7-3 in the first half—before squeezing out a 33-3 win. Nebraska is a step forward in the competition, but they soon have plenty of talent across the board, and quarterback Dillon Gabriel at the UCF (21 for 28, 296 yards, three points) could really spin. OU’s defense is good too. fast. He is coached by Brent Venables, who may be the best defensive mind in the country. Venables is all gas, no brakes. His team will not play it well.

>> Indiana beat Idaho 10-0 down in a 35-22 win. The Hoosiers, who ran for 239 yards, should feel good; Two second-half increases started the season on the right foot.

Sunny. Weight has been lifted.