Usual disclaimer: I’m typing as Coach Frost is talking and I don’t get these down as perfect quotes. They are my best paraphrase of what is said. If something needs additional clarification, let me know in the comments and I can get exact wording from the transcripts.
Head Coach Scott Frost
With classes out, what can you do with the extra time? What are you doing that you couldn’t do before?
We are still limited in the number of hours we can spend with them. If we can get a little extra done here and there, that would be good.
Marcus Fleming update
We wish him the best. He won’t be on the team anymore.
When you looked back at the film, did you see anything mechanical with Cam on snapping? Is there consideration of him playing somewhere else?
We need to get it fixed. We’re going to get as many ideas to get it fixed. He’s too good a player - we need him on the field. He’s too good to put in a different role. We’ve seen that when we don’t have a penalty or turnover, we score like 90% of the time on those drives. It is hard when you get a penalty, it puts you behind the sticks. Cam cares as much as anyone to get it fixed.
What about his skillset makes him valuable in the middle?
He is smart, athletic and exceptionally explosive. He’s still learning the position. He didn’t play it until last season. He has the skillset to be really special.
What is the status of the running backs?
Sevion Morrison won’t be available. We’re crossing our fingers for everyone else.
How did Rahmir Johnson do in his time on Friday?
I thought he did well. We’ve been waiting for him to attack more. He took advantage...it was good to see him in the end zone. Without Dedrick Mills, all we have are freshman, so we’re pretty young there.
[asked further about Dedrick]
Mills just got knicked up (he’s still on the team)
The culture piece - Adrian Martinez was so thoughtful in his interview - he said you want a tough love culture but want to tailor specific principles for this generation. How do you do that, are you as far along as you want? You’ve have five leave the program in nine months since they arrived. How are you feel you’re doing in that?
I think that is a multiple facet answer. Kids are different now. I don’t think there is as much tough love growing up for kids now. Our program is about love first and - we need them to know we care about them. When you develop that connection, it is your job as a coach and sometimes as a second parent to teach them how to be tough, resilient, detailed, take care of doing things the right way. I think our staff does great. This year we’re playing a lot of young kids that haven’t gotten all of that yet. The culture piece is getting better and better. It has to come from the locker room and we’re trying to train that. As far as departures, we have to recruit the right kids and not just the right athletes. We have to recruit the kids that will flourish in Nebraska...some will assimilate and love it.
Our players have been doing things the right way...we haven’t had covid issues. Part of this experience is playing in front of the sea of red and we haven’t gotten to do that. Kids today are more impatient, I was a highly ranked guy but didn’t play until my fourth year of college and that worked out. We try to teach patience.
You’ve mentioned Grant, Jason - could they have led now like the 90s?
[smiling] There is a lot they couldn’t do now that they did then. But it is important to build a culture of accountability and start right away, then those guys get to be the old guys that teach the young guys. First thing, you’ve got to get the veterans right...then they teach the young guys. Where we started...it is getting better and better...but we can still button it up more.
What is one thing you liked about Adrian’s performance. What is one thing he can do better next time?
He was efficient and he didn’t turn the ball over. He ran hard and saw the plays...there are always things you can do better...his eyes a couple times...Luke was efficient with his snaps too.
We just can’t get the untimely holding penalty. You can’t fumble a punt when you are in position to win. Can is one of our best payers, he doesn’t drop many of those...it was just untimely when you’re trying to go win. We only had four penalties, but they were untimely. We can’t miss a protection when we’re going for a win. The guy that missed that is one of our best players, but we can’t have that.
For the running backs...what about injuries that have hounded the group?
The injury thing...Mills got rolled up a bit. Marvin got hit in the head. The other kid isn’t available for health reasons right now. You can’t point to anything but football. We knew that going in,..Coach Held has done a good job getting them ready.
How about the defense? They seem to be playing better as time goes on.
I agree. We didn’t play well two weeks ago on that side of the ball...but they played well Friday. They played well against the run. There’s things we’ve got to get fixed...missed assignment here or there...we can help them out by fixing special teams and field position. When opponents are starting inside the 25, we’re stopping people at a good rate...we are tackling better too.
It is the first week of December and you still have games to play. What was different this past week compared to two weeks ago? Is is hard to keep them engaged with only one win?
I don’t need to worry about that with this group. This group is hungry. I hope we have three games...we’re young and need opportunities. We didn’t have bowl practices last year, no spring ball...we need opportunities. You can really feel it coming. The young talent and the veteran talent, they know they’re close and they want opportunities.
Did you think about calling a timeout and end of third - to make them kick the field goal before switching sides?
We talked about it...the wind was swirling, it was hard to tell if it would help/hurt...I talked to my special teams guys...we decided we needed that timeout for later.
[On the final drive] I thought we were managing time well...we had time to run our offense...hindsight is 20/20, you don’t know you’re going to miss protection and have that happen [the fumble]. I think the time management worked, we gave ourselves and opportunites, we didn’t capitalize.
How to you work toward signing day and playing games at the same time. How do you feel?
I feel good. I really like the group we have coming in...I think it will be a strong addition. really strong in certain areas where we need help. I think because we weren’t able to travel as much it will be a little more regional...which could be a benefit.
Even though you’d like more wins...do the recruits see the optimism you have and the trend the program is going in?
I think they see it...until they read the articles you guys write (smiles)...I love the talent we have and we’re so close. Our kids our tired of losing, they are committed to doing what they need to make sure we start winning those close games
I know you can’t control at other schools, but there are more teams with COVID issues...are you worried about extra motivation this week or having more opportunities to play?
I’m worried about the last three games...absolutely. I was worried about Thanksgiving, guys going home and coming back. We haven’t had too many issues around here. It is no secret that we wish we had started on time so we could play and make up opportunities we’ve missed. This pandemic is bigger deal than football...I hope we don’t lose any more games...we need all these opportunities.