Illinois post-game nuggets
Here is a full recap of what head coach Scott Frost and Nebraska’s players had to say following Saturday’s 41-23 loss to Illinois…
Head coach Scott Frost
***Frost said his general thoughts on the loss was that the game went how it started, as things never got on track from the very first play. He said he didn’t see that type of performance coming
“I was embarrassed by our level of execution in all three phases… I wasn’t happy with it.”
***Frost said the early word back on the status of linebacker Collin Miller had him “cautiously optimistic that it looks good.” He said Miller had full feeling and movement, so they hope that they avoided the worst-case scenario.
Frost said Miller was talking and was able to move when they took him off the field on a stretcher. “We’re waiting to hear for sure, but the preliminary prognosis was positive.”
***On Luke McCaffrey, Frost said they discussed switching him out for Adrian Martinez but decided to stick with him. He said McCaffrey obviously struggled, but no one on the team played well enough to win, not just McCaffrey.
***Frost said replacing Cam Jurgens with Matt Farniok was due to Jurgens re-aggravating a foot injury. He said Jurgens wasn’t full speed, and that might have contributed to the bad snaps that “we have to get fixed as a coaching staff.”
***Frost once again said he thinks his program is heading in the right direction, and the talent was there for them to be much better than where they are right now.
However, he added: “I feel like we’ve come a long way, but it sure didn’t feel like it today… We acted like we won one game, and we were going to be fine.”
***Frost was asked about coaching. He said Nebraska got beat in that phase and every phase against Illinois. "We got beat in every phase. Players and coaches alike."
***Frost reiterated the need to throw the ball downfield. He said many receivers were open, and the quarterback (McCaffrey) didn’t find them.
***Frost was asked about having “to sell the notion of progress” to the fans: “We’re going to get it fixed. I have as much or more confidence today than I’ve had, but it simply was bad today. That goes back to me.”
***Frost said McCaffrey’s 26 carries were too much, but some of those were a result of the pass plays breaking down and him scrambling. “I don’t want our quarterbacks running as much as they have."
***On the first offensive play that was ruled a lateral and a fumble, Frost said he was surprised the officials called it a fumble and that they didn’t look at it in a review.
Quarterback Luke McCaffrey
***McCaffrey said Nebraska didn’t “bring the energy in practice this week,” and that was the biggest issue he saw for why the game went as it did. He said he was to blame for that as much as anyone.
***McCaffrey said the first play didn’t “set the tone” for the rest of the game, but it was one of a few “critical errors” that he can’t make.
***McCaffrey said the team was “angry” and that they were ready to get back to work next week.
"We're angry. We'll get back to practice tomorrow, and we have to attack it."
Cornerback Dicaprio Bootle
***Bootle said Illinois “just dialed up the plays that they wanted to,” and the defense didn’t do nearly well enough to stop them.
***Bootle said he didn’t “worry at all” about the team’s attitude or mindset during the week. He said this game was a learning experience that everyone needed to use to get better.
***Bootle said the poor third-down defense this season was due to one guy being out of place or guys not attacking the football. Illinois was 11-for-17 on third downs on Saturday.
***Bootle said “I’m not concerned about confidence, because I know everyone in this locker room that likes this feeling… There’s nobody down in that locker room that’s going to give up on anything.”