Frost’s Failures and Ours


T.E.A. , Writer

This is the third time I’ve sat down to write this in the last three weeks. I’m sure that Husker Nation is just as annoyed as me due to the constant changes to the coaching staff along with the losses piling up. 


My Dad and I sat down to watch our weekly fall football game on Saturday, Sept. 10, and enjoy “Wings, Beer, Sports” as we call it, something we have taken from the Buffalo Wild Wings commercials. We stayed glued to the television watching the Nebraska versus Georgia Southern game where Nebraska would lose and gain the lead for four hours. Nebraska scored a touchdown followed by an extra point to gain the lead, only for the defense to fail in stopping Georgia Southern’s offense. We watched in horror as Georgia Southern made a field goal.  For the last three minutes of the game, my dad wouldn’t stop whispering to me, “It’s all over.” 


He wasn’t wrong. It was all over. But, I refused to give up. I watched as the kicker, Timmy Bleekrode, was sent out to kick a 52-yard field goal attempt with one second on the clock. I witnessed the Cornhuskers suffer defeat yet again as the ball sped off far left. We watched as Nebraska’s head coach, Scott Frost, added another loss to his already suffering record. 


“Fire Frost,” is something I’ve been hearing far too often and even now at football games as the students yelled it from the Nebraska student section, the Boneyard. With another loss, to a team as small as Georgia Southern, a Division I FBS school that’s part of the Sun Belt Conference, it felt like everyone wanted Frost to be out of there. That wish finally came true. Scott Frost was fired the next morning after the crippling defeat on Sunday, Sept. 11. 


Nebraska fans watched as the defense failed to stop down after down, Georgia Southern slowly making it down the field. Not only was it the Georgia Southern game, but it was also the Northwestern and North Dakota games at the beginning of the season. 


You don’t wait until the Titanic is sunk before you realize, “Oh we need more lifeboats.” That iceberg has already hit Nebraska and that ship is sinking fast. We don’t wait until the third game of the season to try and fix the defense. It was obvious that it needed work before now. 


However, the defense was the one who failed to stop the plays, letting Georgia Southern to gain 642 combined yards and Oklahoma to gain 580 yards. Nebraska needed to fire their defensive coordinator, Erik Chinander, who they did end up firing after the Oklahoma game on Saturday, Sept. 17. Nebraska lost spectacularly 43 – 14 to the Sooners after a rough game. 


Let’s look on the bright side for a second. The kicking game is much better this year. Last year, my whole family celebrated when the kicker, Chase Contreraz, finally made the extra point during the Ohio State game to score. Nebraska has fixed this. Sure, we lost the 52-yard field goal attempt during the Georgia Southern game, but that is a low percentage kick attempt. That’s not what lost us the game. The game was lost with the defense giving up so many points. The kicker was trying his best to salvage the game so Nebraska could go into overtime and maybe win the game. He didn’t give up 45 points. The defense did. 


Our offense has proven growth. They had a very high scoring game of 42 points against Georgia Southern. Running back Anthony Grant’s desire is obvious with his high dexterity and agility. His feet are always finding a way to get through the cracks of the defense. Grant added his third consecutive 100-yard rushing game of his Nebraska career. Quarterback Casey Thompson scored three touchdowns with 318 yards passing. Nebraska’s offense rolled up 575 yards total. 


The offense wanted the Georgia Southern game but the defense did not. It seemed like we were trying to beat Georgia Southern by out scoring them, as their offense fell through our cracks. They out scored us.


There, however, is a danger by piling blame on Scott Frost with everyone else. That’s the easy thing to do. We can all condemn Scott Frost, but we also need to look at the people under him. We need to be better fans by being more respectful to the people in the program. 


My Dad kept saying, “It’s all over,” because Nebraska hadn’t learned how to win. We are plagued by this curse that Nebraska can never pull through and win. We just fall short by a touchdown or less. 


It’s not just the defense. We, as a fanbase, need to take ownership for our own actions. Some fans  say these are just 18 and 19-year-olds playing under too much pressure, but kids of that same age at Alabama, one of the top college teams in the nation who have won five national championships in the last 13 years, are winning games left and right. 


Fans are negative. We expect so much, unrealistically so, from Nebraska. Nebraska fans are blinded by our lust for winning games, changing coaches when it’s just not enough, only to continue to have our record plummet with every head coaching change in the last 25 years. This trend started after Coach Tom Osborne, who won three national championships, retired. It’s not realistic to expect a rebound where we go from a losing record to a complete 180 to where we win a national championship. It’s not pragmatic when there are so many on par teams that all have highly talented players. 


But most of all, we need community. Yelling “Fire Frost” in the student section doesn’t exactly help with that or the student section leaving after the first quarter at the Oklahoma game. We want to win games, but how are we going to do that with such a negative aura in the stadium? Not believing in our team hurts their morale. 


We are really good at hyping the team with light shows and fireworks yet we can’t seem to match our play with the hype that surrounds the program. Watching Georgia Southern, one can see they were explosive in their play because they had that community. 


When Jeremy Singleton, number 0 for Georgia Southern, was hurt on the field, the whole team was there with him as he was carted out by medics. They showed solidarity as they took a knee for their player and even crowded around the player, offering support as his teammates checked on him. While I have seen Nebraska take a knee for their hurt players, I have never seen them, as a whole team, be out there for an injured teammate. 


So where does Nebraska go from here? Nebraska instated Bill Busch as the defense coordinator and Mickey Joseph as the interim head coach. They have won the last two games since. 


Bill Busch looks promising. He might just be the lifeboat for Nebraska Football. He has worked for Nebraska in the past along with Utah State, crossing paths with Urban Meyer, and was named National Defensive Backs Coach of the Year by Football Scoop after building Utah State into a top-15 defense team in the country. Busch then started with Big Ten schools: Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Rutgers. Busch then moved to LSU and both Joseph and Busch ended up working together on the LSU staff.


Joseph has had about three decades of coaching experience, not to mention that he was a key part of LSU’s 2019 national champion staff. He served as LSU’s assistant head coach for his final two seasons there. Joseph is also recognized as a Rivals Top 25 Recruiter and has had four wide receivers selected in the first three rounds of 2020 and 2021 NFL Drafts. He has been a part of many winning records including but not limited to Alcorn State, Grambling State, and Louisiana Tech. 


One of the best things about him is that he played for Coach Osborne at Nebraska. He started in nine games, rushing for 1,091 yards and 16 touchdowns and passing for 909 yards and 14 touchdowns. Over his four seasons Nebraska had a 39-9-1 overall record along with winning two Big Eight titles and playing in two Orange Bowls, a Citrus Bowl, and a Fiesta bowl. Joseph just might be what Nebraska needs. 


But Busch and Joseph both have their work cut out for them. Nebraska is currently in the top 20 worst defense in the nation, averaging 449 yards per game. With his experience in working with defense and secondary groups, Busch will help Nebraska’s defense. Joseph has his work cut out for him this year as well, turning this team around along with the fan base.  


While we don’t know if firing coaches in the middle of the season will help with player morale, we luckily have won the last two games back to back, a feat that has never happened since 2018. Then, maybe, Nebraska, both the fan base and the players, can finally come together with positive feelings since Frost and Chinander have both been fired and the new interim head coach Mickey Joseph and the new Defense Coordinator Bill Busch have taken their places. 


I feel bad for Frost. I wanted to see him succeed as he was the quarterback for our last national championship. It’s sad to see him go, especially in the middle of the season, however, the reasons are blatantly obvious. He never had a winning season in the last five years, hence never making a bowl game. However, I am very excited for the rest of the season under Mickey Joseph. I hope to see him succeed.