Nebraska football: ‘Refreshed’ Frost says now’s not the time ‘to lose our cool’
Five 1-score losses would be enough to drive anyone mad.
You’d forgive Nebraska coach Scott Frost if at some point during this stressful season, he lost it on the sidelines as another small mistake cost the Huskers a close game.
But he said Monday that does nobody any good.
“I think in general a team takes on the characteristics of its leader,” Frost said. “Leaders that are players. Leaders that are position coaches and leaders that are head coaches. When leaders aren’t staying cool, it’s hard for the team to stay cool. Game day is the time you should feel confident in the preparation. You should feel ready and that’s probably when you should be your calmest while being really fired up to win.
“We do hit the mad button sometimes. I hit it on Wednesday,” Frost said. “I put them in a lot of situations Wednesday simulating the game just to try to help them experience that a little more.”
But for now, the characteristics of Nebraska football’s leader are much more mellow coming off a bye week. In a word?
“Refreshed,” Frost said. “Got some great rest. Excited to get back after it.”
As mentally draining as a season like this can be, his players echoed those feelings after the bye week.
“I feel like everyone came out with a better energy,” Huskers defensive lineman Ty Robinson said.
“I think it was a good opportunity to unplug and recharge,” defensive lineman Ben Stille said. “Everybody is a little beat up. Just get everyone back. All the energy and everything back underneath you. I think it was good for a lot of guys.”
That includes quarterback Adrian Martinez, who admitted he wasn’t at full strength against Minnesota.
“I definitely wasn’t 100 percent, but you rarely are in football, so there’s no excuse not to play at the level that I’m accustomed to playing and want to play at,” Martinez said. “I felt like I was not as dynamic as a runner going into that game. I still feel like I was able to do the things that I wanted to do. If I felt like I couldn’t, then I wouldn’t have played, so there’s no excuse there. Additionally, the bye week was very helpful for everyone physically and mentally.”
“Definitely both. It was a nice getaway.” offensive lineman Turner Corcoran said. “Guys felt like they wanted to be back, and that is the best thing you can have coming off of a bye week.”
That mental aspect can’t be discounted, and Frost is aware of that.
“Human beings are habitual,” Frost said. “When you are used to winning, I think winning becomes a little easier. When you aren’t there yet, I think it’s a little harder and maybe you are waiting on it to happen instead of making it happen. I do think that little bit of extra confidence of knowing it’s going to happen rather than hoping could probably take us to the next step. We are trying to be as psychological with the guys as we can, but they believe how good of a team they are. It’s just a matter of making the play when it counts and when it matters the most.”
The next opportunity comes Saturday against a Purdue team that made a cameo appearance at the bottom of the Top 25 for a week before bowing out after a loss to Wisconsin.
The Huskers won’t take the Boilermakers lightly.
“You always need to have a sense of urgency,” Martinez said. “We haven’t lost that. We had it at the beginning of the year and we have it right now. There’s a sense of patience when it comes to where this program is and where we know we can be and where we want to be, and just having confidence in that. The urgency can’t stop, and it won’t stop. It’s a huge game for us.”