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What did we learn Iowa edition


KCBuc

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I was thinking about this right after the punt block. Seriously how is it possible to fail in the way this team has failed over and over again? Ignoring supernatural explanations (i.e. ‘we’re cursed’) and fan talk platitudes (no killer instinct, playing not to lose, etc), I think the best explanation I can come up with is that the team is made up of a weird imbalance when you compare phases and position groups.  
 

 The offensive line and special teams are so incapable that at any given time they can screw up so bad as to tilt the entire outlook of the game. It is one thing to be below average as a group. It is truly exceptional to have as many outright breakdowns that change the game as we have seen this year. 
 

A blocked punt is a car wreck in the context of a football game. In most cases, it is almost certainly the result of a major screwup. Without this play, Nebraska wins. 
 

The OLine…being a poor offensive line is one thing. Iowa isn’t a particularly good offensive line. Yet you don’t see interior defensive linemen coming through unblocked very often.  This happens seemingly every series when Nebraska is on offense. Pressure in the backfield before the quarterback has either made a handoff or set his feet to throw should be very rare, and when it happens it results in abject disaster regularly. 
 

Frost has shown a really odd knack for seemingly neglecting entire phases or position groups during his tenure. You can play really good ball 90% of the time in the other aspects of the game, but when your weak links are THIS inept, you are always at risk for a monumental collapse at a crucial point in the game. 
 

That’s my biggest problem with frost, and it appears systemic…a result of recruiting, developing, practicing, and in game coaching. I just don’t see how that gets fixed. Especially when he seems to think his team is close. Special teams and offensive line are nowhere close to being even average. 

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If Frost doesn't use one of his open 4 slots (particularly Verduzco's) to bring in a full time special teams coach then he just flat out deserves to be fired.

 

It will be a new kind of stupid if we don't actually fix special teams. Guys being completely unblocked on punts. Punters that kick the ball 30 yards off target. Returners that back up to field punts inside the 2 yard line. Letting teams return kickoffs for touchdowns in crucial games. This season has had it all.

 

I'm also really tired of the Taylor Martinez-esque QBs. I want to go a different direction and finally find a guy with pocket prescence.

 

Who gives a flying f*** about running the option or QB draws out of nostalgia when our program is .36 under Frost? It cannot be this hard.

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I learned there is zero leadership within the program. From the head coach on down to the 4th string walk on guy. No leadership to be found.

 

When Iowa blocked the punt, that was a time for someone, anyone, to step up and be a leader and get everyone together and get refocused. Give some sort of speech or do something to get everyone to be determined to not let what has happened all season happen. This could’ve and should’ve been done by Frost, but at this point I’d take this type of action from our 3rd string kicker. To just demand and refuse for the same thing that’s happened all year to happen again.

 

instead the moment that blocked punt happened, it seemed everyone knew the eventual fate and gave up. 
 

No leadership. I sure hope Alberts is actually a leader because the athletic program at Nebraska needs one.

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1.  Smothers has potential and its baffling to me he did not get more PT earlier this year. While he made some mistakes down the stretch, he showed a lot today which has me questioning Frost's judgment and decision making more in some of the games where AM simply was hurting or did not have his stuff.  Notice how a winning coach (Ferentz) was not afraid to make a QB change midway through the game?  

 

2.  The play calling in the 2nd half got tight again.  In the first half we ran the ball with varying designs and Iowa's defense was off balance.  In the 2nd half there were many play calls designed for Smothers to sit in the pocket...just the opposite of the first half. Notice which half the offense looked better.  Frost continues to screw up play calling when the game is on the line.  

 

3.  Special teams wins games for some programs and loses them for others.  Four years into the Frost era and Scott still does not have this figured out.

 

4.  With many departures on offense and defense, I really have no idea where the program goes from here given we are stuck with Frost for a 5th season.  While I liked to see this year's team fighting til the end, I do worry some of that fight may erode with the loss of some 3 and 4-year players from the team.  

 

5.  One of the biggest question marks heading into the 2022 season is when the sellout streak will actually end.  Unless the 2022 team comes out on fire and there is a sense of newness to the Frost regime, fans will quickly return to doubting Frost and this program.  This year the sellout streak was saved by donors buying unsold tickets and unprecedented sales on seats despite having many top 25 home games.  Next year we have Indiana, Minnesota, Purdue and Illinois at home.  If Nebraska continues to underperform I do not see how those later games get sold out.  

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1 minute ago, Undone said:

If Frost doesn't use one of his open 4 slots (particularly Verduzco's) to bring in a full time special teams coach then he just flat out deserves to be fired.

 

It will be a new kind of stupid if we don't actually fix special teams. Guys being completely unblocked on punts. Punters that kick the ball 30 yards off target. Returners that back up to field punts inside the 2 yard line. Letting teams return kickoffs for touchdowns in crucial games. This season has had it all.

 

I'm also really tired of the Taylor Martinez-esque QBs. I want to go a different direction and finally find a guy with pocket prescence.

 

Who gives a flying f*** about running the option or QB draws out of nostalgia when our program is .36 under Frost? It cannot be this hard.

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Frost doesn’t hire a special teams coach. I think Frost is beyond lost on how to coach within the Power 5. 
 

But couldn’t agree more with being done with these type of QBs. Find a QB who is a passer who can run if need be, not these athletes who are runners but we try to make passers. Get a 6’4 passing QB who is capable of running if the pocket breaks down or as an option to run on a roll out.

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8 minutes ago, HuskerNation1 said:

1.  Smothers has potential and its baffling to me he did not get more PT earlier this year. While he made some mistakes down the stretch, he showed a lot today which has me questioning Frost's judgment and decision making more in some of the games where AM simply was hurting or did not have his stuff.  Notice how a winning coach (Ferentz) was not afraid to make a QB change midway through the game?  

 

What?


Do you remember last year when Frost benched Martinez for McNuggets...and then we got blown out by Illinois?

 

Smothers doesn't have pocket presence. Martinez & Smothers are the same basic "run-first" guy that have both been coached by who would now seem to be a pretty bad quarterback coach. He wouldn't have done any better than Adrian, IMO.

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6 minutes ago, BoNeyard said:

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Frost doesn’t hire a special teams coach. I think Frost is beyond lost on how to coach within the Power 5. 
 

But couldn’t agree more with being done with these type of QBs. Find a QB who is a passer who can run if need be, not these athletes who are runners but we try to make passers. Get a 6’4 passing QB who is capable of running if the pocket breaks down or as an option to run on a roll out.

Trevor Lawrence is a perfect example.  He was a phenomenal QB, but to your point, he could throw the ball and ran well enough that teams had to acct for his legs.  Either on designed runs or when he scrambled. Under Frost, our O became solely predicated in the running ability of the QB.

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