Bye week: Frost addresses Minnesota breakdowns and freshmen to watch
Nebraska head coach Scott Frost addressed the media, as the Huskers practiced on Tuesday, and they'll also come back on Wednesday and Friday.
Here is a full notebook breakdown of everything Frost had to say.
What went wrong in Minnesota?
Now that the dust has settled for a few days, what went wrong at Minnesota for Nebraska this past Saturday night?
It was one of the low points of the season for the Huskers, as the Gophers rushed for over 300 yards on the ground in their 34-7 victory.
When head coach Scott Frost watched the game film, he said the breakdowns were as much about fundamentals and technique as anything.
“We talked this morning about getting better at fundamentals and basic things,” Frost said. “I think we were all extremely disappointed after the last game. I think I watched both sides of the ball six times. Offensively, we were close. I don’t think we played poorly, we just made mental mistakes here and there that you can’t make.”
“We are going back to the basics on that, and the same thing on defense. I kind of had the impression coming off the field we got pushed around a little up front, but when you watched the tape that didn’t happen. We just misfit some things. Guys in the secondary were expecting somebody from linebacker to be in a gap, and four, five or six times they weren’t there, and they turned into big plays."
And Frost clarified what he meant by saying his defense didn't get pushed around.
“The majority of the big runs were guys from the second and the third level not fitting in the gap, or being late to gaps,” Frost said. “That’s just detail. It’s just telling those guys if the team expects you to be somewhere, you need to be there. A couple of busted coverages and three or four of those led to a lot of yards in that game. It definitely led to the points in the first half.”
Meanwhile, on offense, Frost said it simply comes down to they are not good enough right now to overcome mental errors and mistakes.
“We don’t generate enough big plays to make mistakes and be able to sustain drives,” Frost said. “We need to keep doing the things we do so we can generate more plays, and in the meantime, we have to eliminate the mistakes, so we don’t stop drives ourselves.”
Look for more freshmen to see time
Don't be surprised if you see more true freshmen get an opportunity to maximize their four games down the stretch for Nebraska.
Frost specifically mentioned offensive linemen Ethan Piper and Bryce Benhart, running back Rahmir Johnson, and defensive linemen Ty Robinson and Mosai Newsom as names to watch.
“We are also going to give the young guys more reps here, and see if any of them are ready to come out of their redshirt and give us four games at the end of the year, and provide some help to us,” Frost said.
Frost added they've had a plan all year with how they want to manage their freshmen and the four-game redshirt rule.
“There’s too many of them to count,” Frost said of his freshmen. “But if those guys are ready to play, we can seriously use the depth right now.”
Offensive line shake-up?
We saw NU make a pretty big shake-up on the offensive line Saturday when starter Trent Hixson was pulled for Broc Bando.
The sophomore from Lincoln come in for Brenden Jaimes at left tackle earlier this season and showed his versatility by stepping in at guard Saturday.
According to Pro Football Focus, Bando played 37 snaps, while Hixson was on the field for 35. Will Bando be the guy going forward?
“Broc came in and played hard,” Frost said. “That move was made because of a couple of protections that we didn’t pick up on the interior of our line. We’ll see what we are going to do going forward, but I was pleased with Broc coming in and answering the bell.
"He definitely came in and played hard. This bye week will give us the best opportunity to gauge who gives us the best chance, and in an ideal situation you have a rotation anyway, and with more depth, we’ll be able to rotate more guys.”
***Frost said that freshman receiver/running back Wan'Dale Robinson "will be fine," when asked to address his injury.
***The Huskers practiced on Tuesday for the first time since their loss at Minnesota. They are scheduled to hold bye week practices on both Wednesday and Friday.
***NU's coaches are scheduled to go out on the road recruiting after their practice on Wednesday.