Neb Florida Gulf Coast Eagles Jerseysraska due to break through in 2022, but can Scott Frost make it happen?
INDIANAPOLIS – Maybe – just maybe – this year will be different for Nebraska.
That comes with the realization it can't be the same. Nebraska coach Scott Frost and athletic director Trev Alberts took turns addressing the latest formula for a program that is now a quarter century removed from its last national championship in 1997.
That season capped a 25-year stretch where Tom Osborne compiled a 255-49-3 record and .836 winning percentage. The Huskers are 186-117 since, and Frost the quarterback on that '97 team, is the fifth different coach. That amounted to a 15-29 record the past four seasons.
So will it be totally different at Nebraska in Frost's fifth year?
"When you feel like you're doing the right things, a complete change of course is the wrong way to go," Frost said. "M Notre Dame vs. USC Rivalry Gear y role is going to change a little bit having an offensive coordinator that I trust to take it over. For FSU vs. Miami Rivalry Jerseys the most part, it hasn't Brown Bears clothes led to the results we want. This year is going to be different."
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That will be especially true on offense. Nebraska remodeled the offensive coaching staff. Mark Whipple, who was Heisman Trophy finalist Kenny Pickett's offensive coordinator at Pitt in 2021, is that coach in question. New passing game coordinator Mickey Joseph was an assistant at LSU during the Joe Burrow-led national championship run in 2019. Texas transfer quarterback Casey Thompson will get the first-team reps at fall camp.
Nebraska averaged 27.9 points per game last season. Pitt ranked third in the FBS with 41.4 points per game. Will that promised collaboration between Frost and Whipple materialize?
"If we score as many points as they did last year (at Pitt), I don't care if we run it, throw it or kick it," Frost said.
The defense should be better. Frost raved about linebacker Garrett Nelson, with a huge endorsement: "He's the best leader we've had at Nebraska in a long time."
Nelson fits that old-school Husker profile. He's a Scottsbluff, Neb., native. His father Chris was an All-American wrestler at Nebraska during that Osborne heyday.
"We had a pretty solid defense and an OK rush, but I want people when they watch to see us coming over the walls of offensive lineman," Nelson said. "I want both of our rush ends to have double-digit sacks. I want our interior guys to collapse the pocket. I have visualizations of me doing that and our players doing that. That's the expectation."
That sounds like the Blackshirts when Alberts played linebacker in the 1990s. Nebraska's athletic director refused to put a win total on Frost that would cool a hot seat. Instead, Alberts supported Frost's role through the staff changes and movement via the transfer portal.
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"I'm really pleased with where the relationship is right now," Alberts said. "I'm pleased with where football is. We haven't won any games (this year), but I'm pleased with how bold and strategic Scott and the staff has been."
What needs to be different for Nebraska to break through in the Big Ten West? It's those one-score games. Nebraska is 0-14 against ranked teams under Frost, and that includes a 0-10 record in games decided by seven points or less. The Huskers are 5-20 in one-score games under Frost.
"When you talk and write about the one-score games, it's 100 percent true," Alberts said. "It is what it is. Every time we walk out on the field it's not going to be a situation where we have significantly more talent and if we just don't turn the ball over we'll win the game. That's kind of how it used to be. It's not that way now."
Frost referenced watching the "same movie" after the season-opening loss against Illinois last season. He also spotted the common thread in those nine losses by nine points or less.
"The only thing you really point at is a killer instinct and an ability to finish the game," Frost said. "It was kind of a different thing every week. It was a punt here, a PAT and field goals here, an interception here and tripping over our own feet there. It just seemed like it was a different thing every week. A blocked punt. A kick return … "
So Frost will also collaborate with special teams coach Bill Busch, who was elevated from his position as an analyst, to fix those special teams problems.
The players are on board. Nelson, who said the 32-29 loss at Memorial Stadium Arkansas-Monticello Boll Weevils Jerseys against No. 9 Michigan on Oct. 9, 2021, stuck with him the most. Nelson said he played "terrible," and it's those assessments that have spread throughout the locker room.
"With those one-score games we lost, it's having those honest conversations with your teammates not in a sense of coming to them holding them accountable from a place of hate," Nelson said. "It's a place of love and understanding so we can accomplish what we want to accomplish."
Nelson also made it clear that Nebraska's players are all in with Frost, who has tried to resurrect his alma mater in the College Football Playoff era.
"Everybody talks about the hot seat and what's on the line this season and all that stuff. We can't get caught up in all that news and that noise," Nelson said. "We're so ready to win. We want to win so badly for this coach and for this team an Michigan vs. Ohio State Rivalry Shirts d finally change our lives and the trajectory of this program."
Frost appreciated that sentiment when told about how his players have rallied around him.
"That's the way it should be," Frost said. " Notre Dame vs. USC Rivalry shirt That's the way it has been. … They have seen the ups and downs, and they've also seen the progress. They know how close we are. That's really going to motivate all of us this year."
Maybe this is the year Nebraska breaks through and turns those one-score loss Air Force Falcons shirt es into wins. That starts with a unique opener on Aug. 27 in Dublin, Ireland, against Northwestern. Old-school rival Oklahoma visits Lincoln on Sept. 17, and November will be the truth serum with Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa.
Frost has ignored the hot-seat talk in order to focus on that challenge.
"I don't pay any attention to it," Frost said. "Any year you ECU Pirates clothes 're coaching a Augustana Vikings Jerseys t Nebraska or any of these Big Ten schools there is going to be pressure to win. We certainly were playing catch-up with College Cold Weather Jerseys a lot of teams for a long time. I think we've done a good job closing the gap and had our chances to win more games than we have. I think it's our time to do it."