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Nebraska’s Practices Continue to Not Translate to Games and The Morning After

Another great week of practice and another loss

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Nebraska Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

It was another great week of practice that didn’t translate to the game.

“You know, I hate to even say this, we had our best week of practice offensively maybe since I’ve been in Nebraska, so I expected us to come out and play. We completed everything in practice. We blocked well. But...”

But. There always is a but.

“...we whiffed on a few blocks early on. We put a ball on the ground. We threw an interception. We shanked a punt. We missed some wide open guys. We gave up some sacks. I think maybe a little bit is is once you get behind in the game and things start rolling the wrong way with a young team, I think they started pressing just a little bit to try to get back in the game. But that being said, they responded after we spotted them 10 points beginning the game and got the lead. We just didn’t execute very well.”

Unfortunately for Scott Frost and the Nebraska coaching staff the games are the ones that actually count.

Frustration with this football program is at an elevated level to be kind.

This could be considered a throw away season. Unless Nebraska would have won the division the 2020 season would have been one to forget regardless. Now it feels like it has turned into a season that Nebraska fans never want to remember.

Regardless of what the future holds, Nebraska is in the thick of the disappointment now. It is disappointing to lose to a team that couldn’t stop the run and was missing 33 players. It is frustrating to lose to a PJ Fleck coached team again and again.

I can make excuses for this program. To a certain extent excuses are also “reasons.” One of the main reasons this offense is struggling is a failure to recruit and/or develop at the quarterback position.

Adrian Martinez is simply missing wide open receivers and when he sees them he misses on the throw. Then the backup is an athlete trying to play quarterback. The third string quarterback is Logan Smothers. He must be so far behind that he has worn a headset for the entire season.

Getting things to translate from practice to the game is currently an issue with this coaching staff. Solving that problem could likely be extremely complex. It could also be extremely simple.

Fix the quarterback position.

The Morning After

Frost felt Husker O had strong practices before Saturday clunker
The first quarter had been unsightly from the first snap, a back track of nine yards on the field and flashback in the mind of a game from three weeks prior no one wanted to revisit.

There had been only 35 Husker yards accumulated on 15 plays, with no points to show against the worst defense in the Big Ten. But one quarter does not a football game make, and after the Huskers stacked a couple touchdowns together in the second quarter, a win was there to be plucked from the cold air. Go do that and the warts could be reviewed later by everyone in a more pleasant mood by the fire.

Report Card: Ugly grades for an ugly day in Lincoln
Nebraska football had a second embarrassing loss at home this season, as the Huskers dropped a game Saturday to a Minnesota team that was short on players. That, however, didn’t slow down Minnesota as the Gophers rumbled to a 24-17 win.

Honesty May Be the Only Way Out for the Huskers | Hail Varsity - Nebraska Football, Recruiting, News
Nebraska cornerback Dicaprio Bootle has played the past 43 games for the Huskers. Saturday’s 24-17 loss to Minnesota may have been his last at Memorial Stadium. Not the way it was expected to go, and certainly not the way anyone in red wanted it to go.

“But in life you don’t get a rewind button,” Bootle said.

With Opportunity to Step Forward, Husker Offense Splinters in 24-17 Loss | Hail Varsity - Nebraska Football, Recruiting, News
Boye Mafe heard Bryce Benhart let out an audible “Oh” Saturday during one of the Minnesota rush end’s blow-bys. At that point, he said, he knew he was going to keep finding success. On tape, Mafe saw Nebraska chipping with its guards to help tackles, so early on he played a little bit of set-up. Bull rush straight down. Play to tendencies. When the third quarter hit, Mafe started cruising past the redshirt freshman right tackle on the edge.

Scott Frost says Nebraska looks good in practice. But that's not showing on Saturdays | Football |
At the end of another Husker clunker, Scott Frost walked deliberately to midfield to meet the man whose shorthanded team had beaten NU with an old-school formula of toughness and time of possession.

Steven M. Sipple: Bummer city as Nebraska loss takes another large bite out of fan optimism | Column |
A mostly empty stadium on a frigid day.

A mostly empty feeling.

That's surely what most Nebraska football fans had Saturday afternoon as shadows fell on Memorial Stadium.

RECAP: Minnesota breaks a chair over Nebraska, 24-17 - The Daily Gopher
The Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-3) — playing their first game since Nov. 20 after a COVID-19 outbreak that precipitated a two-week layoff from practice and forced them to play Saturday’s game with a total of 33 players sidelined for various reasons — went into Memorial Stadium and outplayed the Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-5) in a 24-17 victory.

The Gophers retain the $5 Bits of Broken Chair Trophy as a result.