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Interrupting All Programs: Mid-Season Progress Report For The Huskers & The Media

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Quality Backup Quarterback and Lack of Speed on D Hurting Nebraska?

Jon Johnston

Yes, the Husker season has not gone according to how we, or Las Vegas, thought it would go back in August. However, more than likely, NU goes at least 3-2 to finish 7-5…that is if quarterback Adrian Martinez can play.

That brings us to the three things that irk me with and around Husker football in 2019, besides the OL.

Lack Of A Quality Scholarship Back-Up Quarterback

This is year two for Coach Scott Frost’s staff. Noah Vedral would NOT have been offered a scholarship by Frost’s staff if they were at Nebraska in 2017, so why in the name of Billy Bob Thornton is he here on scholarship?

Look at all the quarterbacks ratings of the QBs Frost has offered at NU. I don’t see someone with Vedral’s level getting an offer.

The staff was looking to fill the quarterback room and I get that. But ask him to walk-on, he does not, as the Minnesota game showed, have the arm for this offense. But we saw that in the spring game in 2018, the 2018 season and the spring game in 2019, he just doesn’t have the arm for this offence, despite how well “he knows the offense,” as if that is magic to run it.

Yes, he helped win the Northwestern game with one pass over a quarter of action in relief, but if you hang your hat on that, you better have the 1995 Husker defense if you want to go bowling this year. Give me QB Andrew Bunch and his arm as the second best option at Nebraska.

Also, while I think Luke McCaffrey is a great quarterback prospect, everybody knew he was not ready to take snaps at QB in 2019. That’s OK if you have enough developed quarterbacks in your program.

I think it fair to say looking at the Husker quarterback room in October of 2018 that McCaffrey was a good long-term QB, but not a strong pick for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, given lack of depth for a staff just starting in Lincoln.

Frost has an excuse for no solid back-up in 2018 (Tristan Gebbia screwing everyone, including himself) but not 2019.

Maybe McCaffrey will have developed enough by 2020, but the reality is NU probably needs to mine the grad transfer market for an FCS guy who wants to play in front of more than his grandparents and be one play away from starting at a Big Ten school.

How Can The Front Seven On D Lack Quickness & Speed This Badly?

For as much as Frost has emphasized speed it appears the front seven lacks speed and quickness. But the irritating thing is you could have guessed it from looking at the depth chart. Everybody and their brother had much lighter Ben Stille starting at a defensive end spot.

If it was year one of Frost and “War Daddy” Duval it would be hard to be critical of Carlos, Khalil Davis and Mo Barry, but all three appear 15 pounds too heavy, maybe 20+ plus on the Davis brothers.

And some people are not going to like this, but if you are at the University of Nebraska on a football scholarship, you don’t need to throwing the shot put! Especially when you are too big and/or not quick enough for your position!

Hopefully lesson learned for Frost’s staff. Ask some guys who wanted to play baseball back in the day how Coach Tom Osborne handled that question. The Davis brothers have made some plays but when you rolling out 300-pound plus DEs, consistent pressure on the quarterback is not likely from the DE spot.

And to be a bigger jerk than I am, but it appears Barry is better suited for DE with his size and his level of agility (Did I phrase that nice enough?)

Now it’s extremely difficult to be a linebacker as you have to be effective in coverage and then come forward with your hair on fire with bad intentions. And you stick out like a Ho-Ho at a Twinkie festival when a linebacker is running down the middle of the field in attempted coverage and the whole stadium is offering up sacrifices that its an overthrow.

But as I have said before, nothing that happens in the first two years after taking over a mess REALLY matters when evaluating that coach. For Coach Bill Callahan the 2004 season didn’t stick to him as he was taking over a team that was 8-9 in its last 17 Big 12 games anyway and trending downward. His fourth season in 2007 killed him.

Yes, you would like to win and go to bowl games, but years three through five will solely determine if Frost gets a second contract.

And for the record, I’m fairly certain NU will go to a bowl this year and the next three years as well, so Frost will get that second contract. Even if he doesn’t address the above to my liking, but they will be better bowl games if he does.

I Want To Gripe About Somebody Griping About Frost Being Too Positive

Get the f--- outta of here saying everybody in the media got it wrong because they listened to Frost. Most of us are too busy looking at how ripped up homeboy is in his 40s to hear what he says anyway.

First off, in August there were many reasons to be positive that the national media pointed to without listening to Frost for one f---ing second!

Those things included: the second half of 2018, a frosh All-America QB returning, the normal year one to year two jump on offense and defense, and a stud grad transfer at nose tackle in Darrion Daniels (he has lived up to billing but needs DE help). Frost didn’t need to say a word and NU was going to be picked to finish in the 8/9 win range.

Secondly, that is what coaches normally do with teams that have been struggling and coming off two 4-8 years. Be positive, even if there wasn’t all those signs from 2019.

Third, are you this clueless not to know that is standard operating procedure with Frost anyway? It is his nature to aim big and bad. He has always dated the hottest chicks, had a 4.0 and a stud athlete to boot. In addition to what he has done as a coach in 10 years at various programs and levels.

You think Callahan in 2007 thought they were going to bottom out? Stuff happens, especially in year two of a re-build.

And by the way, the season isn’t over…as long as Martinez can play.