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Nebraska Football Monday Press Conference

The head coach met with the media, updated on a season-ending injury to an offensive lineman

Northwestern v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

Usual disclaimer: This stuff is typed in real time as the presser is in progress. While I do my best to capture what is being said, these are not exact quotes. If you need something clarified, let me know in the comments.

Head Coach Scott Frost

On Teddy Prochazka

He is out for the season with a knee injury.

I feel terrible for him. I feel terrible for anyone that gets hurt. These kids put so much time and energy into this. Teddy has improved by leaps and bounds - it is a tough setback.

On the o-line in last two weeks

We have to keep getting better at protection and keep moving in the run game. It’s been baby steps and we’re getting better at that.

How much did first half help second half even though you didn’t have points?

Realistically there are a couple times we could have scored points and that would have set us up better. But there are some things we did that set us up for the second half.

Ryan Held - in the box - has it changed how you communicate adjustments?

Of all the coaches on my staff, the one who understands option football the best is Coach Held. So it benefits us to having him up there. He can see the entire field. Coach Lubick is pretty dialed in to calling the game with me. [Held caught a play that they would have been flagged for] He caught that - that would have been an unfortunate touchdown that wouldn’t have counted.

Rahmir Johnson emerging. Was that a surprise?

Yes, it surprised me. He was probably fifth on the depth chart. He has been improving and running hard. We need other guys to step up and emerge to give him a break.

It has been gradual, but it really was this fall camp. I used to get frustrated with him because he wouldn’t run full speed. He has really learned how to play as hard as he can.

How close are you?

There are a lot of ways we can get better. We can get better up front, we can block down field better. There are a couple more details we need to get better. The defense is playing well, but we had a miscommunication on one of their touchdowns. When you’re not playing well, you don’t even notice those things.

On the o-line, you’ve said you wanted nasty. How is Bryce [Benhart] doing?

He has a chance to show us this week. He’s from Minnesota and I don’t think he played his best game against them last year. We have faith in him.

You haven’t played well against Minn - why?

I think we were 4-2 when we went up there two years ago and we played uninspired football. I got the feeling that some didn’t want to be there, it was cold, rain. I give them credit, they had a really good team two years ago, a good team last year. We haven’t played our best against them. They’ve had two weeks to prepare. I’m sure they’ll play their best game and we will too.

Anything different this week?

We took the pads off today. We usually do good-on-good and a lot of thumping on Monday. I thought they needed a break after the physical game Saturday. They are excited to play. I told them that if anyone wants to play in the NFL, they have a grind. Eight weeks is a lot for college football, but our guys have plenty of gas.

On left guard Nouredin Nouili

I feel good about how Noure has played. That would have happened faster if he was more consistent. I’ve liked what I’ve seen in games. If I had seen that in practice it would have happened faster.

How has the personality of the team changed?

I think we’re just more of a grown up team. We have kids that love each other, love the team and love football.

What do you talk about during meetings - Sundays after games with Trev [Alberts]?

Trev’s been great. Sometimes I go up and sometimes he comes down. He felt like we did a lot of things right. The kids did so much right, it was heartbreaking. He felt the same way we did. He went around to the assistant coaches and told them how proud he was.

Do these losses come with an emotional toll - how are they maintaining strength?

I’m not worried about this game from an energy and enthusiasm standpoint. When you are running sprints, it isn’t the 20th one that gets you, it is the 16th or 17th one. Minnesota has a good team, they’re well coached, its on the road. It will be tough. But I don’t think our guys will fail to be prepared or ready.

What do you think about this league (Big Ten)?

I think the Big Ten is really good. Top to bottom. Anyone can beat anyone each week.

Relationship with Trev?

Yes, I talk to him quite a bit. Usually on a Sunday and we talk about the week before. I’m not usually in a frame of mind to do it on Saturday night. He’s been great.

Is Sunday tougher after losses?

It might be tougher on coaches than players. As a player I would sleep in, skip church, which I shouldn’t have done. As coaches, I have to get in there. We’re telling them to sleep and eat right and get ready physically and mentally for this game.

Punt return - how do you decide whether to a use starter? What is the risk vs keeping them healthy?

Normally I would weight it quite a bit. Right now, I want someone back there who has a chance to make a play. We’re fielding it now. Normally you make sure everyone is healthy, right now, it’s all hands on deck.

Our return units and kick coverage team played well. It hasn’t been our coverage units that were the problem, just the ones doing the specialty jobs. Those guys have been donig better. We hit reset and its going better.

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