A case that talent was primary Issue for recent struggles and should be mostly fixed starting in 2021

ADV1

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If NU could just fix the mistakes we would be having an entirely different conversation... when they get on a role we've seen where the offense can move the ball well (EX. see the first 1/2 against OSU)... it's the holds and the illegal procedures and stupid crap that gets them in trouble.... with improved talent and a clean up of mistakes I can see where the OP is right and that next year could be a great one compared to the misery years we've been in... I'm still holding faith that this is closer than it appears... good post, thanks for my weekend Koolaid
 

ADV1

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But the RB room is still stagnant. I think Stepp is a stepp up (pun intended) from Mills, but he must stay healthy. And we haven't seen Morrison yet due to injury.

I still can't figure our what happened to Thompkins... he was on the rebound and appeared to be on full afterburner and a solid backup to Mills and then he just vanished
 

John_J_Rambo

Graduate Assistant
Jan 10, 2020
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I still can't figure our what happened to Thompkins... he was on the rebound and appeared to be on full afterburner and a solid backup to Mills and then he just vanished
'full afterburner' in this case resulted in 6 touches (5 carries, 1 catch) for 34 yards all season.

I sometimes wonder what games others are watching, and how I can tune in.
 

huskerbaseball13

Nebraska Legend
Jul 30, 2003
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🙄 I don’t think I can roll my eyes any harder. Every time some one even mentions 6 or 7 wins we hear the some ol crap from the same crowd. You all seriously have to take a lesson in reading comprehension. I did not at any point see where he said he would be doing cart wheels, not have I seen people say that we’d be content with perennial 6 or 7 win teams.

the reasonable expectation with any team that has been as crappy as we have been, would be to progressively get better, would I be happy with a 7 win season next year, 🤷🏻‍♂️ Meh not really happy but I’d sure as hell take it compared to what we’ve had! The bar is not changed it is not lower, we all expect to win championships (eventually) we want to be there again. The difference is most of us realize that you have to progress there, it’s not going to happen overnight...let’s go from having 4 crap seasons to a 7 win season, alright, let’s add to that the next year to 8 or 9 wins... right now NO I hate to break it to anyone in here we are not the Huskers of the 90s we have flat out sucked. We now have to build this thing back, and yes that means slowly, and no that don’t mean we are ok with the Iowa way, constantly having 9 wins a year with no signs of winning a championship here won’t cut it, if you don’t believe me go ask Bo.

No need for reading comprehension issues, OP stated if Frost gets to 7 wins next year he can still buy in for the future. That he would not yet buy in to the “Frost can’t coach crowd” despite the overwhelming evidence of Frost being in over his head

Sure, he doesn’t speak for the entire fanbase but while the heat is getting turned up within the fanbase based on social media...many are still willing to give Frost an extremely long rope. If Frost does go 7-5 next year his overall record at Nebraska will be 19-25 after 4 years...yet retain his job? That screams lowering the bar to me. Hell at this point some are happy just to see Frost’s offense not fall on its face for a quarter.

Next year it’s win the division or bust for me. As I said previously, anything less..hopefully Frost’s head is on the chopping block come year 5.
 
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inWV

Defensive Coordinator
Sep 22, 2007
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Perhaps I should have been better with my words... I was referencing pre-season... he was getting all kinds of attention... His on field was dismal and then poof! gone
And in his rather few number of snaps played (all early in the season), he looked pretty decent. Then milk carton. What happened? Shitty practice effort and off to the doghouse? Injury? Undisclosed rule violations?
 
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Catch50

Athletic Director
Feb 5, 2003
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I am normally an optimistic person but also would like to believe that I am semi realistic or at least not completely dillusional. In the last 7 years I don’t post much because I haven’t felt much if any optimism about a our chances and honestly Husker football fandom has been more a chore than fun. I believe that will change in 2021 and will attempt to articulate how much I think the roster has improved and why this thing may just turn around in year 4.

Definitions / Background for analysis

High Rated – 5.7 or better

Blue Chip – 5.9 or Better

Stats - Rankings from Rivals which is not perfect but generally is a good approximation at macro level and also consistent with recent lack of conference honorees and draft choices

Assumption it typically takes 2-3 years to derail a good roster if a new coach doesn’t effectively recruit and about same amount of time to build up a poor roster if that is what you inherit

2014-2017 Recruiting (4 years prior Frost)

Landed High Rated– 33

Retained – 14 for 2018

Blue Chips – (Farmer, Gebbia, and Lindsey)

With Lindsey and Gebbia being transition casualties left Frost with 12 total high rated players and 1 Blue Chip from the group as the core of his first two teams. Conclusion is Frost inherited a well below Big Ten average roster from Riley. I personally think there a lot of Husker fans that don't necessarily agree with this. But rankings, lack of drafted players ands conference honorees all point to this opinion being accurate.

2018 to 2021 (Frost Classes)

Landed - High Rated 62

Retained – 44 for 2021

Blue Chips Available - 11 (Martinez, Henrich, Benhardt, Robinson, Gates, Betts Corcoran, Manning, Joseph, Fidone, Prochazka)

1QB, 3OL, 3WR, 1DL, 1LB, 2Sec

Only 1 of the 44 are Seniors or two if you count Cam Talyor Britt which means a vast majority of the high rated players will be around for next 2-3 years.


Scott has landed twice the high rated recruits as previous four years and retained 3 times the number with 5 times the Blue Chips if you remove Gebbia who transferred before 2018 year started and leave Lindsey because his was available that first year.

2014-2017 recruiting ineffectiveness outlined above had massive impacts across the board on the Staffs early lack of success but most notably at offensive line where it killed any chance of fielding a competitive offense in 2019 after Foster/Farmer graduated. Also, likely main cause of Martinez regression from 2018 to 2019 and into 2020.

The 2019 interior o-line of So Hixson, RF 265 Lb converted TE Jurgens and a below Big Ten average and injured Wilson was, in my opinion, the worst interion o-line in the BIG when you factor impact of snaps. Sophomore Farniok was also well below Big Ten average right tackle and LT So James was the only solid player at that point being a Big Ten average left tackle as a Sophmore. This overall offensive line was in bottom 2-3 in league and derailed Martinez who didn’t do himself any favors in 2019 with the extra weight that slowed his running which was really impactful as running for his life was one of our key plays in 2019. The combination of line play and Martinez regressions effectively tied an arm behind Scotts back as a play caller as well. The only good thing that came out of this was the 2019 screen pass post on Rivals about a week ago. After Frost ran 44 times for 98 yards against a bad South Alabama team to start the season, I assume he realized they would need to do other things against big ten teams and I think the number of screens were one of those other things.

While it was only Rutgers in our final game of 2020, with the three Freshman and a sophomore on the oline we put up significantly more yards against them than any other team they played and only OSU averaged more per play against them. I expect the left side with Top 100 Corcoran, Piper and Jurgens to continue to develop over Spring and Fall and to be flat out imposing in the run game in 2021 and more than competitive in pass protection with the right side holding there own or Big Ten average.

To provide perspective on improvement in the Oline room, the only 2019 player I think that would make the two deep in 2021 would be So James as backup to Corcoran. I would even take this a step further and say you could field a second team line from 2021 group with scholarship backups that would significantly outperform that 2019 line which is staggering to think about.


While concerning to some, WR/TE group has 9 high rated players and still has 3 blue chips even without Robinson. Martin, Brown, Flack, Allen, Volkolek along with transfer Touré should ensure this groups floor is competitive (slightly below Big Ten avg.). What I believe will separate this group from competitive to good is the likelihood of 1 or more of Betts, Manning and/or Fidone developing into a “Dude” over Spring and Fall camp. Only the o-line has as many Blue Chip recruits as our WR/TE group and I expect that to show up in 2021 as all but 3 of the 9 are returning players. We also caught a break with Manning on not losing a year of eligibility given that he wasn't physically/mentally ready to help which is one of reasons many schools typically avoid all but highest rated 2 year Jucos. With the extra year, Every one but Toure/Flack will be back in 2022 so this group could develop similarly to o-line moving forward and be something special relative to recent Nebraska standards.


I think of the concept of synergy or whole being greater than some of parts for my offensive expectations in 2021. It will start with an effective running game behind this o-line that Allen has assembled along with Martinez and a serviceable RB that I am sure exists within our 6 Scholorship backs. This will put Martinez and Frost in a high percentage of advantageous (run-pass) down and distances which is were he is most effective. There is simply too much talent at WR not to at least be as good as 2018. In that scenario 2018 Freshman Martinez threw for 18 TD and and 7 INT. I think the talent around him in 2021 will be significantly better than 2018 when you factor in O-line. I personally wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Martinez throws something like 22 TD with 8 interceptions and 600 plus rushing yards with the player around him and Frosts ability to better manage play calling with the running game he will be able to use in 2021.

This is an incredibly important year for Scott and for Husker football. Fairly quietly, a solid roster has been built that will return almost everyone in 2022 on offense including what could be a top 2-3 o-line in the big ten. If Frost comes out and demonstrate the offense that many people expected and goes 6-2 in West (likely minimum record to win West) he will be able to maintain or even accelerate what I believe has been West Division leading recruiting into the 2022 class. The 2022 team will also likely start the year ranked, with expectations and a lot of momentum.

IF he cannot win at least 7 games with the talent we have in 2021 I don’t see how he could win much more in 2022 with basically the same players returning. At that point, given the talent, I will probably have to agree with the crowd claiming he cannot coach and that we just playing string out for the next guy. Personally I don't think this will be the case and very excited for 2021.

1) The truth shall set you free
2) 6'9 offensive tackles very rarely cut it.
 

TerranPetteway

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Mar 7, 2019
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No need for reading comprehension issues, OP stated if Frost gets to 7 wins next year he can still buy in for the future. That he would not yet buy in to the “Frost can’t coach crowd” despite the overwhelming evidence of Frost being in over his head

Sure, he doesn’t speak for the entire fanbase but while the heat is getting turned up within the fanbase based on social media...many are still willing to give Frost an extremely long rope. If Frost does go 7-5 next year his overall record at Nebraska will be 19-25 after 4 years...yet retain his job? That screams lowering the bar to me. Hell at this point some are happy just to see Frost’s offense not fall on its face for a quarter.

Next year it’s win the division or bust for me. As I said previously, anything less..hopefully Frost’s head is on the chopping block come year 5.
We should just keep firing coaches every three years. That's what all the successful programs do. Imagine, we could be just as good as national powerhouses like Tennessee and Texas.
 

jlb321

Defensive Coordinator
Aug 8, 2014
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We should just keep firing coaches every three years. That's what all the successful programs do. Imagine, we could be just as good as national powerhouses like Tennessee and Texas.

at the current time ... there are only 3 power 5 schools that are entering the 2021 season with a coach coming off 3 consecutive losing seasons

1- Neb
2- UCLA
3- Oregon State

Neb is the only one of those 3 schools that has finished 2 or more games below .500 in their respective conference each of the last 3 seasons -

please list current perennial top 10-20 programs whose current coach started their tenure with 3 straight losing seasons
 
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poundth3rock

Sophomore
Jul 20, 2007
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Kansas
at the current time ... there are only 3 power 5 schools that are entering the 2021 season with a coach coming off 3 consecutive losing seasons

1- Neb
2- UCLA
3- Oregon State

Neb is the only one of those 3 schools that has finished 2 or more games below .500 in their respective conference each of the last 3 seasons -

please list current perennial top 10-20 programs whose current coach started their tenure with 3 straight losing seasons

You honestly cannot believe Nebraska is currentl a perennial 10-20 program.

We are not a perenial top 10-20 program no more than Minnesota is anymore.

We are 139-98 in the last 19 years which is a bit above average as power 5 teams pad win totals with 2-3 FCS teams every year. We are 11-41 against top 25 teams during that span with at least one beat down happening every year. Even in the Pelini glory years we were only 44-26 against power 5 schools with an 8-18 record against top 25 teams. Then dude went nuts, all but fired himself and as a result we get the 2014 class which was probably worst in modern husker along with Mike Riley. Yippee.

The year before Frost arrived we had bottomed out
4-8
0-3 against ranked team by average of 25
lost to unranked Iowa and Minnesota at end of year by a combined 110 and 35
3 years of more crappy recruiting classes

Frost was a consensus coach of Year at UCF
All coordinated offenses finished in top 15 at Oregon
Won a national championship at Nebraska

Dude will get every opportunity to succeed. If he continues to recruit classes like this next guy will be fine if it comes to that which is assuming everyone doesn't hit the Portal like Tenessee
 

Clemke32

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Sep 29, 2017
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No need for reading comprehension issues, OP stated if Frost gets to 7 wins next year he can still buy in for the future. That he would not yet buy in to the “Frost can’t coach crowd” despite the overwhelming evidence of Frost being in over his head

Sure, he doesn’t speak for the entire fanbase but while the heat is getting turned up within the fanbase based on social media...many are still willing to give Frost an extremely long rope. If Frost does go 7-5 next year his overall record at Nebraska will be 19-25 after 4 years...yet retain his job? That screams lowering the bar to me. Hell at this point some are happy just to see Frost’s offense not fall on its face for a quarter.

Next year it’s win the division or bust for me. As I said previously, anything less..hopefully Frost’s head is on the chopping block come year 5.
I’ll just add to this that obviously you don’t speak for the entirety of the fan base either... sure we can always fire a coach and keep up with this cycle and hope we can catch lightening in a bottle, but please remind me how that has went to this point for us?

again the bar has not be lowered, the goal posts have not been moved, none of the other BS rhetoric crap that is spewed on the regular applies to this. OP just stated why he believes we should turn the corner next year. And I tend to agree with him. There is a such thing as managing expectstations or reasonable expectations, In reality I’d love to win the division but that STILL ISNT MY END POINT. The reasonable expectation is to get above .500 and continue to build up from there, the baby steps mentality does apply here... I have not seen many college teams go from sub .500 to winning their division in the group of 5 conferences, now I never did much research so feel free to prove me wrong if you can, but nothing comes to my mind off the top of my head.

Now with that said I’ll be the first to admit that had you told me when HCSF was hired that we’d be sitting here like this now, I’d have looked at you like you were all sorts of special. We are all frustrated and want to see the success we all DEMAND. It’s just painfully obvious that we can’t keep firing coaches and if HCSF shows progression then you have to stick with him until he either plateaus or shows that that progression was a fluke
 

jlb321

Defensive Coordinator
Aug 8, 2014
7,878
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You honestly cannot believe Nebraska is currentl a perennial 10-20 program.

We are not a perenial top 10-20 program no more than Minnesota is anymore.

We are 139-98 in the last 19 years which is a bit above average as power 5 teams pad win totals with 2-3 FCS teams every year. We are 11-41 against top 25 teams during that span with at least one beat down happening every year. Even in the Pelini glory years we were only 44-26 against power 5 schools with an 8-18 record against top 25 teams. Then dude went nuts, all but fired himself and as a result we get the 2014 class which was probably worst in modern husker along with Mike Riley. Yippee.

The year before Frost arrived we had bottomed out
4-8
0-3 against ranked team by average of 25
lost to unranked Iowa and Minnesota at end of year by a combined 110 and 35
3 years of more crappy recruiting classes

Frost was a consensus coach of Year at UCF
All coordinated offenses finished in top 15 at Oregon
Won a national championship at Nebraska

Dude will get every opportunity to succeed. If he continues to recruit classes like this next guy will be fine if it comes to that which is assuming everyone doesn't hit the Portal like Tenessee


of course Neb isn't presently a perennial ranked team - my question is - name a program whose current coach started with 3 consecutive losing seasons, had a worse record than the coach they replaced and the program's patience with said coach was ultimately rewarded by eventually becoming a perennial top 20 team - there must be some examples
 
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poundth3rock

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Jul 20, 2007
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Kansas
of course Neb isn't a perennial ranked team - my question is - name a program whose current coach started with 3 consecutive losing seasons and their patience was ultimately rewarded by becoming a perennial top 20 team

Apologize, misunderstood.

Its a good questions and doesn't happen often

To be fair you would have to find a school that had 2 coaches in 4 years and 2 losing seasons for a fair comparison and a school that also had fans rabid fans even after this long to up the pressure and scrutiny of a rebuild. Also your subset is of available possibilities is low because there just aren't many perennial teams.

Bill McCartney fits bill and was actually 1-10 in third year after going 4-7 in year two. I am guessing he was close to being fired. Dude literally muddled around for 7 years before breaking right into top ten and splitting a Natti. Was in the top 20 next 7 straight years and finished 3rd in last season.

Bill Snyder had 3 losing seasons out of four. On one hand Kstate was much worse. On other he scheduled the worst of the worst FCS teams to gaurantee four wins and probably revolutioned the used of the Juco. Dude was not only great coach but scheduling genius. Finishes 8th, 6th, 4th and 6th in conference and then near top for most of his career including something like 10-11 years in top two. Greatest turn around in coaching history in my opinion

Barry Alverez was 1-10, 5-6 and 5-6 and didn't have to deal with Covid and loss of spring and fall camp his third year.

That is just schools I more familiar with and would guess there are more but it is definitely not the norm.
 

Catch50

Athletic Director
Feb 5, 2003
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Corcoran is 6'5 top 75 player. For a Freshman Benhardt is already cutting it. If his height really gets in the way they can go with the 6'7 Banks. Is he to tall ?

I believe so. Corcoran at 6'5 is at pretty the perfect height. I was not impressed with Benhardt. Great kid. But I think his height hurts. Teddy P. will be worse.
 

jlb321

Defensive Coordinator
Aug 8, 2014
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Apologize, misunderstood.

Its a good questions and doesn't happen often

To be fair you would have to find a school that had 2 coaches in 4 years and 2 losing seasons for a fair comparison and a school that also had fans rabid fans even after this long to up the pressure and scrutiny of a rebuild. Also your subset is of available possibilities is low because there just aren't many perennial teams.

Bill McCartney fits bill and was actually 1-10 in third year after going 4-7 in year two. I am guessing he was close to being fired. Dude literally muddled around for 7 years before breaking right into top ten and splitting a Natti. Was in the top 20 next 7 straight years and finished 3rd in last season.

Bill Snyder had 3 losing seasons out of four. On one hand Kstate was much worse. On other he scheduled the worst of the worst FCS teams to gaurantee four wins and probably revolutioned the used of the Juco. Dude was not only great coach but scheduling genius. Finishes 8th, 6th, 4th and 6th in conference and then near top for most of his career including something like 10-11 years in top two. Greatest turn around in coaching history in my opinion

Barry Alverez was 1-10, 5-6 and 5-6 and didn't have to deal with Covid and loss of spring and fall camp his third year.

That is just schools I more familiar with and would guess there are more but it is definitely not the norm.


nice examples, however -none are current coaches - and all are examples from about 40 years ago
all also had better winning percentages after year 3 than their predecessor

list of all 65 power 5 coaches and their hire date

 

poundth3rock

Sophomore
Jul 20, 2007
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Kansas
I believe so. Corcoran at 6'5 is at pretty the perfect height. I was not impressed with Benhardt. Great kid. But I think his height hurts. Teddy P. will be worse.

Respect your opinion but have read that average NFL tackle is 6'6" and there are quite a number of guys in the 6'6 to 6'7 range with Ogden being a legit 6"9 and what or the better ones ever. You either have the ability our you don't, height is not relevant. I like Benhart as a freshman and think he will be solid. A big chunk of fielding a good offensive line or any position group is not having any below average or poor players that are easily exposed. While I think he will be the fourth best lineman on the team next year, he will generally not be overmatched.
 

poundth3rock

Sophomore
Jul 20, 2007
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nice examples, however -none are current coaches - and all are examples from about 40 years ago
all also had better winning percentages after year 3 than their predecessor

list of all 65 power 5 coaches and their hire date


Not wrong but every situation is unique

I also believe the only difference from 20-30 years ago to now is folks patience. McCartney would typically have been fired in this day and age and Colorado would have never one a Nattie.

Frost record is poor but recruiting is very solid for a rebuild, I don' think that is debatable. Frost was a National Coach of year and first coach we hired since Osborne retired that had legitimate BCS offers outside of us when he took the Job. Dude also won a freaking national championship for us 23 years ago. He gets more time whether someone wants to moan about moving the goal posts or not. I some peoples minds this is playing out the string, I don't yet see it that way.
 

bigboxes

College Football Hall of Fame
Sep 4, 2004
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Not wrong but every situation is unique

I also believe the only difference from 20-30 years ago to now is folks patience. McCartney would typically have been fired in this day and age and Colorado would have never one a Nattie.

Frost record is poor but recruiting is very solid for a rebuild, I don' think that is debatable. Frost was a National Coach of year and first coach we hired since Osborne retired that had legitimate BCS offers outside of us when he took the Job. Dude also won a freaking national championship for us 23 years ago. He gets more time whether someone wants to moan about moving the goal posts or not. I some peoples minds this is playing out the string, I don't yet see it that way.

Frost gets 5 years, regardless. Not a year more if he keeps on losing. Championship or no championship.
 

The_Man_Behind_The_Man

Redshirt Freshman
Nov 28, 2016
863
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93
So Frost coordinated multiple top 10 offenses at Oregon, lead the nation at UCF where he was coach of the year and then overnight become so inept he couldn't move the ball against South Alabama in 2019. Those offenses would have hung 600 on South Alabama but the he become bumbling fool against team like South Alabama and the guantlet that is the Big Ten west.

Yep, that is probably what happened. Or there was massive drop in talent form those two teams that he is doing his best to rectify.

Frost and this staff have their Wartz, but they aren't bumbling fools or JV coaches as you put it
The Offense has not improved in three years here but are regressing. Our Offense is the worst statistically in the Big-10. We turn the ball over more than any other team and are a comedy of errors (errant snaps, stupid mental errors that kill drives). Therefore they are currently JV in a big boy league. Doesn’t mean they can’t graduate to Varsity level but until the Offense improves and Frost and Co can manage the game better on game day, they remain JV status.
 

poundth3rock

Sophomore
Jul 20, 2007
1,224
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Kansas
The Offense has not improved in three years here but are regressing. Our Offense is the worst statistically in the Big-10. We turn the ball over more than any other team and are a comedy of errors (errant snaps, stupid mental errors that kill drives). Therefore they are currently JV in a big boy league. Doesn’t mean they can’t graduate to Varsity level but until the Offense improves and Frost and Co can manage the game better on game day, they remain JV status.

Simply isn't true related to being worst statistically

2018 second in total offense and 6th in scoring in Big (SR Zig, Morgan, Farmer, Foster with Spielmann)

2019 Fifth in total offense ands 7th scoring offense. (8 scholorship lineman after converting 265 lb TE Jurgens and giving one to So walkon, both started)
2020 4th YPG and 12 scoring (this is the outlier for Frost at Nebraska, UCF and Oregon)

Developing team with two freshman line starters, No Spring Ball, No Fall Camp, starting with OSU and Northwestern rather than FCS warmup and fail to get your more talented new recruits at WR on field in those conditions and basically playing walkons. Won't argue points relative to yards massively impacted by Mistakes, turnovers and not having a take it to house guy. Frost underperformed with this group.


2021 - 4 returning olineman including two top 100ish guys on a squad that finished 4th in YPG in Big in 2020 and 11 other healthy scholorship dudes competing for last Spot and depth Only one olineman from the 2018 team would play in 2021. Given that players typically make biggest jump in development early in careers this should be a formidable group.

QB ,that while he makes too many mistakes and sometimes is slowi/inaccurate in reads, is explosive in run game and lead a top two Big total offense team in 2018 including facilitating a 1000 yard reciever in Morgan and 800 yard reciever in Spielmann . These guys were good football players but not elite players by any stretch

WR-TE room that contain Two top 100 Freshman and the Top Juco WR in the nation that all get Spring and Fall. Coincidentally, these three players represent three time the number of 5.9 or better rated players at that position group than the entire West Division.

It is not only likely, but I would say probable that NU finishes in top 3 in total offense in 2021 as the floor with the group of players available and past results including NU. If Martinez can limit mistakes to 2018 level and find some guys in that group above to throw to points and wins will follow suite as the defense is light years ahead of that 2018 squad trending up from 12 in total yards in 2018 to 6th in 2020 and returning almost everyone of consequence.
 

countrybob

Walk On
Gold Member
Jun 23, 2003
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Punt/Kick returns and coverage were a real problem against all the well coached teams of the West. Probably multiple games with 100 yards of hidden lost yardage.
Thanks for your posts. Based on what you are saying, do you feel Martinez will become a better quarterback or do you feel he has been adequate?
 

The_Man_Behind_The_Man

Redshirt Freshman
Nov 28, 2016
863
918
93
Simply isn't true related to being worst statistically

2018 second in total offense and 6th in scoring in Big (SR Zig, Morgan, Farmer, Foster with Spielmann)

2019 Fifth in total offense ands 7th scoring offense. (8 scholorship lineman after converting 265 lb TE Jurgens and giving one to So walkon, both started)
2020 4th YPG and 12 scoring (this is the outlier for Frost at Nebraska, UCF and Oregon)

Developing team with two freshman line starters, No Spring Ball, No Fall Camp, starting with OSU and Northwestern rather than FCS warmup and fail to get your more talented new recruits at WR on field in those conditions and basically playing walkons. Won't argue points relative to yards massively impacted by Mistakes, turnovers and not having a take it to house guy. Frost underperformed with this group.


2021 - 4 returning olineman including two top 100ish guys on a squad that finished 4th in YPG in Big in 2020 and 11 other healthy scholorship dudes competing for last Spot and depth Only one olineman from the 2018 team would play in 2021. Given that players typically make biggest jump in development early in careers this should be a formidable group.

QB ,that while he makes too many mistakes and sometimes is slowi/inaccurate in reads, is explosive in run game and lead a top two Big total offense team in 2018 including facilitating a 1000 yard reciever in Morgan and 800 yard reciever in Spielmann . These guys were good football players but not elite players by any stretch

WR-TE room that contain Two top 100 Freshman and the Top Juco WR in the nation that all get Spring and Fall. Coincidentally, these three players represent three time the number of 5.9 or better rated players at that position group than the entire West Division.

It is not only likely, but I would say probable that NU finishes in top 3 in total offense in 2021 as the floor with the group of players available and past results including NU. If Martinez can limit mistakes to 2018 level and find some guys in that group above to throw to points and wins will follow suite as the defense is light years ahead of that 2018 squad trending up from 12 in total yards in 2018 to 6th in 2020 and returning almost everyone of consequence.
Excellent assessment with data. I’ll admit I have been highly critical of the Offense and Offensive Staff and here’s why...

There is so much potential and they are certainly capable of it but falling way, way short of even what their own expectations should be. I think the want to is there (maybe) but the effort and preparation has been downright pathetic. Way too sloppy and lack of discipline during games. If I was a player, I’d be disgusted after watching film after a bad loss and have a chip on my shoulder. I’d work my ass off during the week just to go knock an opposing player flat on their ass the following week. So I’m not sure where these players are at mentally and why the staff is failing motivating and coaching them.

I still believe the offense has been performing worse in year 3 than in years 1 and 2. Way too many yards and points are being left on the field. A lot of it is mental and if they want to show they belong, then the ridiculous amount of turnovers must be cut down as well as the silly false starts and holding penalties. Fix that next year and with solid Defensive play then there is no reason that they can’t at least compete with or better yet beat the best teams in the West. GBR!
 
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rgrachek

Head Coach
Gold Member
Dec 2, 2004
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I am normally an optimistic person but also would like to believe that I am semi realistic or at least not completely dillusional. In the last 7 years I don’t post much because I haven’t felt much if any optimism about a our chances and honestly Husker football fandom has been more a chore than fun. I believe that will change in 2021 and will attempt to articulate how much I think the roster has improved and why this thing may just turn around in year 4.

Definitions / Background for analysis

High Rated – 5.7 or better

Blue Chip – 5.9 or Better

Stats - Rankings from Rivals which is not perfect but generally is a good approximation at macro level and also consistent with recent lack of conference honorees and draft choices

Assumption it typically takes 2-3 years to derail a good roster if a new coach doesn’t effectively recruit and about same amount of time to build up a poor roster if that is what you inherit

2014-2017 Recruiting (4 years prior Frost)

Landed High Rated– 33

Retained – 14 for 2018

Blue Chips – (Farmer, Gebbia, and Lindsey)

With Lindsey and Gebbia being transition casualties left Frost with 12 total high rated players and 1 Blue Chip from the group as the core of his first two teams. Conclusion is Frost inherited a well below Big Ten average roster from Riley. I personally think there a lot of Husker fans that don't necessarily agree with this. But rankings, lack of drafted players ands conference honorees all point to this opinion being accurate.

2018 to 2021 (Frost Classes)

Landed - High Rated 62

Retained – 44 for 2021

Blue Chips Available - 11 (Martinez, Henrich, Benhardt, Robinson, Gates, Betts Corcoran, Manning, Joseph, Fidone, Prochazka)

1QB, 3OL, 3WR, 1DL, 1LB, 2Sec

Only 1 of the 44 are Seniors or two if you count Cam Talyor Britt which means a vast majority of the high rated players will be around for next 2-3 years.


Scott has landed twice the high rated recruits as previous four years and retained 3 times the number with 5 times the Blue Chips if you remove Gebbia who transferred before 2018 year started and leave Lindsey because his was available that first year.

2014-2017 recruiting ineffectiveness outlined above had massive impacts across the board on the Staffs early lack of success but most notably at offensive line where it killed any chance of fielding a competitive offense in 2019 after Foster/Farmer graduated. Also, likely main cause of Martinez regression from 2018 to 2019 and into 2020.

The 2019 interior o-line of So Hixson, RF 265 Lb converted TE Jurgens and a below Big Ten average and injured Wilson was, in my opinion, the worst interion o-line in the BIG when you factor impact of snaps. Sophomore Farniok was also well below Big Ten average right tackle and LT So James was the only solid player at that point being a Big Ten average left tackle as a Sophmore. This overall offensive line was in bottom 2-3 in league and derailed Martinez who didn’t do himself any favors in 2019 with the extra weight that slowed his running which was really impactful as running for his life was one of our key plays in 2019. The combination of line play and Martinez regressions effectively tied an arm behind Scotts back as a play caller as well. The only good thing that came out of this was the 2019 screen pass post on Rivals about a week ago. After Frost ran 44 times for 98 yards against a bad South Alabama team to start the season, I assume he realized they would need to do other things against big ten teams and I think the number of screens were one of those other things.

While it was only Rutgers in our final game of 2020, with the three Freshman and a sophomore on the oline we put up significantly more yards against them than any other team they played and only OSU averaged more per play against them. I expect the left side with Top 100 Corcoran, Piper and Jurgens to continue to develop over Spring and Fall and to be flat out imposing in the run game in 2021 and more than competitive in pass protection with the right side holding there own or Big Ten average.

To provide perspective on improvement in the Oline room, the only 2019 player I think that would make the two deep in 2021 would be So James as backup to Corcoran. I would even take this a step further and say you could field a second team line from 2021 group with scholarship backups that would significantly outperform that 2019 line which is staggering to think about.


While concerning to some, WR/TE group has 9 high rated players and still has 3 blue chips even without Robinson. Martin, Brown, Flack, Allen, Volkolek along with transfer Touré should ensure this groups floor is competitive (slightly below Big Ten avg.). What I believe will separate this group from competitive to good is the likelihood of 1 or more of Betts, Manning and/or Fidone developing into a “Dude” over Spring and Fall camp. Only the o-line has as many Blue Chip recruits as our WR/TE group and I expect that to show up in 2021 as all but 3 of the 9 are returning players. We also caught a break with Manning on not losing a year of eligibility given that he wasn't physically/mentally ready to help which is one of reasons many schools typically avoid all but highest rated 2 year Jucos. With the extra year, Every one but Toure/Flack will be back in 2022 so this group could develop similarly to o-line moving forward and be something special relative to recent Nebraska standards.


I think of the concept of synergy or whole being greater than some of parts for my offensive expectations in 2021. It will start with an effective running game behind this o-line that Allen has assembled along with Martinez and a serviceable RB that I am sure exists within our 6 Scholorship backs. This will put Martinez and Frost in a high percentage of advantageous (run-pass) down and distances which is were he is most effective. There is simply too much talent at WR not to at least be as good as 2018. In that scenario 2018 Freshman Martinez threw for 18 TD and and 7 INT. I think the talent around him in 2021 will be significantly better than 2018 when you factor in O-line. I personally wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Martinez throws something like 22 TD with 8 interceptions and 600 plus rushing yards with the player around him and Frosts ability to better manage play calling with the running game he will be able to use in 2021.

This is an incredibly important year for Scott and for Husker football. Fairly quietly, a solid roster has been built that will return almost everyone in 2022 on offense including what could be a top 2-3 o-line in the big ten. If Frost comes out and demonstrate the offense that many people expected and goes 6-2 in West (likely minimum record to win West) he will be able to maintain or even accelerate what I believe has been West Division leading recruiting into the 2022 class. The 2022 team will also likely start the year ranked, with expectations and a lot of momentum.

IF he cannot win at least 7 games with the talent we have in 2021 I don’t see how he could win much more in 2022 with basically the same players returning. At that point, given the talent, I will probably have to agree with the crowd claiming he cannot coach and that we just playing string out for the next guy. Personally I don't think this will be the case and very excited for 2021.
It looks like we have more talent in 2021 on offense than we have had the last 4 years.

BUT... the biggest reason we have had a crappy team the last several seasons is because of the other side of the ball. Our defense has been between bad and horrendous over the past 5 years. With some new additions and all of the 6th year guys coming back, we should be better, but defense is where we will make our comeback, if we make a comeback.
 
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mgbreis

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It looks like we have more talent in 2021 on offense than we have had the last 4 years.

BUT... the biggest reason we have had a crappy team the last several seasons is because of the other side of the ball. Our defense has been between bad and horrendous over the past 5 years. With some new additions and all of the 6th year guys coming back, we should be better, but defense is where we will make our comeback, if we make a comeback.
IMHO the offense bears the most responsibility for the failures under Frost. The defense, while not good, has been left holding the bag time and time again because of turnovers, penalties, 3 and outs, dumb play calling, etc. Frost has basically called plays with zero consideration for taking pressure off the defense, and his offense isn't anywhere close to good enough to coach that way. Both sides of the ball SHOULD be better, but the coach needs to use his brain this year and not get out-coached weekly.
 

inWV

Defensive Coordinator
Sep 22, 2007
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Talent at RB and WR is still an issue.
At WR, Martin was a 5.8 and top 250 player. Manning was the #2 JUCO and a 5.9. Betts was a 6.0 and top 60 player. Toure was a 5.3 out of HS, but also was a 1AA All American. NU doesn't have blue chip talent riding the pine, but I wouldn't say talent is an issue.
At RB, Stepp and Morrison were a 5.8 and top 250 playesr, Rahmir 5.8, Thompkins and Ervin 5.7, and Scott III 5.6. For all we know, the Yant kid could be the best of the bunch. Again, I don't think talent is an issue.
 

inWV

Defensive Coordinator
Sep 22, 2007
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My two cents. NU fans have a totally outsized perception of the program as it exists today and many think there is a "magic coach" out there that can take NU to the top in short order. Solich won at a record clip but wasn't going to get us back to promised land, hence Callahan. The program was diminished. Pelini won 9-10 games per season and appeared in 3 CCGs. He wasn't going to get any better, so Riley. The program was greatly diminished and slipped into a losing spiral on all fronts. I was at the Iowa game in 2017. I saw a team that flat out quit playing in the second half. This is what Frost inherited. Quit thinking of program turnaround as an event and more of a process. The program flat out needs to learn to win again.
I'm as disappointed as anyone over the trajectory the program has taken over the past several years. But the idea of that magic coach awaiting to take NU to prior glory needs to be shelved. Let Frost do the work. There is as much if not more talent on the roster since the Pelini years, but most of it is young. The B1G is a much more competitive league than when NU entered. Understand the situation and react accordingly.
 

HuskerO

Recruiting Coordinator
Sep 11, 2006
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Frost has dramatically improved talent at QB, TE, OL, DL, LB x1000, and in the secondary.
Not sure about QB just yet. I think that'll be answered this year for Martinez, but Smothers, Masker, Haarberg are complete unknowns.

I'm rooting real hard for the QBs, but are Smothers, Masker & Haarberg dramatic improvements from O'Brien, Gebbia, Lee & Bunch?

OL has been, by far, the most dramatic talent upgrade for sure.
 

mgbreis

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My two cents. NU fans have a totally outsized perception of the program as it exists today and many think there is a "magic coach" out there that can take NU to the top in short order. Solich won at a record clip but wasn't going to get us back to promised land, hence Callahan. The program was diminished. Pelini won 9-10 games per season and appeared in 3 CCGs. He wasn't going to get any better, so Riley. The program was greatly diminished and slipped into a losing spiral on all fronts. I was at the Iowa game in 2017. I saw a team that flat out quit playing in the second half. This is what Frost inherited. Quit thinking of program turnaround as an event and more of a process. The program flat out needs to learn to win again.
I'm as disappointed as anyone over the trajectory the program has taken over the past several years. But the idea of that magic coach awaiting to take NU to prior glory needs to be shelved. Let Frost do the work. There is as much if not more talent on the roster since the Pelini years, but most of it is young. The B1G is a much more competitive league than when NU entered. Understand the situation and react accordingly.
I don't disagree that Frost took over a tire fire. But... I also believe wholeheartedly that he makes winning look a lot harder than it really is. He's either terrible at coaching the fundamentals or thinks he can ignore them. I hope he's changing that... we'll see.
 

bigboxes

College Football Hall of Fame
Sep 4, 2004
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I don't disagree that Frost took over a tire fire. But... I also believe wholeheartedly that he makes winning look a lot harder than it really is. He's either terrible at coaching the fundamentals or thinks he can ignore them. I hope he's changing that... we'll see.

Whatever the case, Frost should have won more games in every year that he's coached. He's underperformed with all the talent he has had.
 

dinglefritz

Nebraska Legend
Jan 14, 2011
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No need for reading comprehension issues, OP stated if Frost gets to 7 wins next year he can still buy in for the future. That he would not yet buy in to the “Frost can’t coach crowd” despite the overwhelming evidence of Frost being in over his head

Sure, he doesn’t speak for the entire fanbase but while the heat is getting turned up within the fanbase based on social media...many are still willing to give Frost an extremely long rope. If Frost does go 7-5 next year his overall record at Nebraska will be 19-25 after 4 years...yet retain his job? That screams lowering the bar to me. Hell at this point some are happy just to see Frost’s offense not fall on its face for a quarter.

Next year it’s win the division or bust for me. As I said previously, anything less..hopefully Frost’s head is on the chopping block come year 5.
The deal for me now is that we are where we are. LIke it or not. Call it lowering the bar if you want. We are where we are. We've done terrible damage to our program for the past 2 decades whether it was firing Frank, Callahan's poor fit, Bo's and Carl's personal demons, or Riley's failure. IMO, Frost has ripped the band aid off and has tried to build things back the right way. IF he gets to 7 wins I think it could be a building block to better things long term. Some don't agree with that idea. Personally I don't want to go through another coaching change and 3 years of rebuilding all over again. I think every time you change a coach you lose a recruiting class.
 
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dinglefritz

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Not sure about QB just yet. I think that'll be answered this year for Martinez, but Smothers, Masker, Haarberg are complete unknowns.

I'm rooting real hard for the QBs, but are Smothers, Masker & Haarberg dramatic improvements from O'Brien, Gebbia, Lee & Bunch?

OL has been, by far, the most dramatic talent upgrade for sure.
Haarberg from practice observations sounds like he looks the part physically. You never know though until the bullets are flying in a game. The fact that he looks like he belongs in practice is encouraging to me given the size of the school he came from. The question will be if he can process information and perform against a B1G defense IF he ever gets on the field. Some of the practice observations about Smothers are less than exciting but we've won before with a guy who struggled in the passing game IF he can limit turnovers. You don't have to have Joe Montana if he can run the ball and not turn it over.
 
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inWV

Defensive Coordinator
Sep 22, 2007
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There has been noticeable improvement on defense. The offense has been like watching someone try to start a campfire without chemical assist. Sparks, smoke, small flames but no fire. Lots of swings and misses on offensive skill players. Quality and depth at RB was awful when Frost got to Lincoln and has so far resisted attempts at remedy.
 

dinglefritz

Nebraska Legend
Jan 14, 2011
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There has been noticeable improvement on defense. The offense has been like watching someone try to start a campfire without chemical assist. Sparks, smoke, small flames but no fire. Lots of swings and misses on offensive skill players. Quality and depth at RB was awful when Frost got to Lincoln and has so far resisted attempts at remedy.
Something that should have stuck in the minds of Husker fans when Frost took over was what some former members of the pipeline had to say about our O line talent. Some very knowledgeable guys were pretty pessimistic about our short ability to turn things around because of what we had in the O line. In hindsight, Riley's O line recruiting with the exception of Jaimes was not good. They were indicating that if Frost could get to a bowl game in the first couple of years that would be a success. Well we didn't get there.

The problem on offense has been multiple positions but it all starts with our O line. That first last minute recruiting class didn't help and we lost probably 2 of our best O linemen to graduation after that first year. So we've had now 2 good years of good O line recruiting and those guys are starting to see the field. Most people agree that it takes 3 years to develop a high school lineman to play in the B1G. IF our young O linemen can be average, we should be pretty good on offense with the weapons we have now. Frost has had 3 years now to recruit and has landed what appears to be 2 very good classes. Hopefully it starts showing up in the win column.
 

NebChicago

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If NU could just fix the mistakes we would be having an entirely different conversation... when they get on a role we've seen where the offense can move the ball well (EX. see the first 1/2 against OSU)... it's the holds and the illegal procedures and stupid crap that gets them in trouble.... with improved talent and a clean up of mistakes I can see where the OP is right and that next year could be a great one compared to the misery years we've been in... I'm still holding faith that this is closer than it appears... good post, thanks for my weekend Koolaid
When is the last season (frost/Riley/Pelini/beyond) we have not had incredibly sloppy play from a penalty stand point and turnover stand point
 

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