The scoreboard read 39-0 Wolverines. By then, Scott Frost knew the writing was on the wall. “The game was already over at halftime,” a solemn Frost said after the game.
That’s a generous analysis of the situation. The game was actually over the very second after quarterback Adrian Martinez threw his first interception. The scoreboard didn’t show it, but the play on the field did.
However, you don’t need to dust off your old media guides to recall the last time the Huskers played this poorly. Just last season, Nebraska was walloped by Ohio State 56 to 14. Then just a few weeks later, Minnesota handed the Huskers a humiliating 54-21 defeat in TCF Bank stadium.
Also, not to mention the fact that the Iowa Hawkeyes came into Memorial Stadium and spanked Nebraska 56-14 in a rivalry game that was over before it started. If you go back to 2016, the Huskers were smacked around by Ohio State 62-3 in the second largest margin of defeat in program history, on prime time T.V.
The point is not to make excuses for this coaching staff, but after only three games, it would be nothing short of total lunacy to pin this all on Frost and company. Most fans seem to understand that, but what has been more befuddling to watch is the team seemingly regress in front of our very eyes.
It may be tired to trot out the “Rome wasn’t built in a day” excuse, but it’s hard to think of another explanation for what is occurring here with this football team. This is still largely the same Husker team that seeped points left and right under the previous administration.
There’s been a lot of talk about “culture” and “identity” lately. Frankly, it’s been nauseating at times. This point was accentuated when a video from last Monday’s press conference of Tanner Farmer urging that his fellow teammates “buy in” to the program went viral.
Though some found Farmer’s speech inspiring, others found it a sign of imminent discord within the Husker locker room. Nothing could be further from the truth.
“There’s nobody jumping off the ship,” Frost said after the Michigan game. “Now, [as far as] getting 100% commitment to making themselves the best they can be, I haven’t seen that yet.”
Frost is right. It isn’t a matter of groups of players not “buying in” to the program (is anyone seriously still pining for the Mike Riley era?). It’s a matter of shepherding in a new era, and the growing pains that come with it. In other words, it’s not time to get off the ride just yet.