Illinois post-game nuggets
Here are some quick notes to pass along from Nebraska's post-game press conference following Saturday's 30-22 loss at Illinois...
Head coach Scott Frost
***Frost said he didn't know how he and his team could have emphasized improving all fixing all of the mental mistakes that once again plagued Nebraska in Saturday's loss.
After the game, he told the players that it felt like they watched "the same movie" for the past three years.
***Frost said he still had faith in kicker Connor Culp, who missed two extra points. Frost said he hadn't seen any problems like that from Culp all offseason.
***Frost said, "we've got to be better than that," but added that he felt bad for the players to lose a game like this. He said the team "put a lot on this game" all offseason.
***Frost said he was confident the Huskers would "bounce back" from the loss, and he knows "how much better this team is" than previous years. Though he added, "it didn't look like it today."
***Frost said the offensive coaches "guessed wrong" in preparing for what Illinois' defense would do in the game. He said NU spent most of the offseason preparing to face an odd-man front, but the Illini only played "4-5 snaps" of odd front on Saturday.
Frost said the staff thought Illinois would look like what its defensive coordinator did at Missouri, which they showed in their spring game.
***Frost gave Illinois a lot of credit and said, "they earned it." But he added that Nebraska's mistakes "gave them 16 points."
***Frost said one thing he was most disappointed about was how poorly his team responded coming back out to start the third quarter.
***Frost said Nebraska has never gotten "the spark" that could kickstart a run of momentum since he'd been here. He said the Huskers believed they were a better team than what they showed Saturday, but "we need some good things to happen."
"We'll get our breaks sooner or later," Frost said.
He said he sometimes felt like Nebraska was "snake bit" with bad breaks happening at the worst times.
***Frost said he didn't think Caleb Tannor's hit on the roughing the passer penalty was late and that it was a "bang-bang play."
***Frost said he thought Adrian Martinez played "okay" in the loss. Frost said Martinez made some plays and missed some, noting the overthrow on a would-be touchdown to Wyatt Liewer, and his fumble returned for a touchdown at the end of the first half.
Frost said the Big Ten was a league where "games are going to rely on a play here and a play there, and we didn't make enough of them."
***Frost said running back Sevion Morrison was available to play on Saturday. Morrison did not play an offensive snap.
Quarterback Adrian Martinez
***Martinez said he was just as surprised as Frost was with all of the same mistakes and struggles Nebraska had on Saturday. He pointed to his fumble specifically as "a big moment" in the game.
***Martinez said it was up to the leaders on the team to keep the loss from ruining the rest of their season. While it was the same story once again, Martinez said he and his teammates "will not let it deter us."
***Martinez was asked what NU could do to finally fix all of those same mistakes. "If I had the answer, it wouldn't have happened today."
***One aspect that was "the same old story" in the loss was how the players handled themselves during the game.
When the game started to shift, Martinez was adamant that the Huskers didn't have a "here we go again" mentality."In my mind, the whole time, I felt like we were going to win," Martinez said.
***Martinez said the only positive was that this wasn't a "one-play season," and NU had a lot to prove with their "backs against the wall" now.
***Asked about the QB sneak late in the game where it looked like NU wasn't sure if it was first and goal or fourth and inches, Martinez said," In all honesty, I can't recall that."
***On his play, Martinez said he "had his moments" but "I need to be a hell of a lot better."