Frost, Huskers reflect on Michigan, move on to Purdue

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LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska Head Coach Scott Frost and several players reflected on the rough game against Michigan and looked ahead to Purdue in the Huskers weekly press conference Monday.

The Huskers will host Purdue for Homecoming on Saturday, with kickoff set for 2:30 p.m.

Frost said guys are still making mistakes that need to be fixed, but the Huskers had a good practice Monday. However, Frost and several players noted that the team has had plenty of good Monday practices, but they need to practice well throughout the entire week to have a good performance on Saturday.

Adrian Martinez also gave an update on how he feels physically, Tre Neal talked about the importance of having a love for the game, and Luke Gifford said watching the game film against Michigan made him "want to throw up."

You can hear more from Frost and the players by clicking the links above.

You can also read the full transcript from Frost's press conference, below.
On the team coming back today
“Today was great, you never quite know what you’re going to get for a response from the guys. We’ve been practicing well, but I wish we’d have practiced for a long time with the intensity the guys practiced with today.”

On if reviewing the film showed anything they didn’t see Saturday
“It’s about what we thought except as bad as it looks we weren’t that far away from plays. There was a lot of times we had runs fit up right, the gap was just a little too big and there was one guy there to make it, and we didn’t make it. One more block on a couple plays on offense and it’s different. And again any one of those things doesn’t change the outcome of the game. We got whipped pretty good, but weren’t that far off from making a bunch of things work that didn’t.”

On the offensive line
“We've got to keep getting everybody on the roster better. We’ve been in that process since we got here and we’re going to continue to do it. We've got a couple young guys that I think are getting close to being ready to play at guard. Other than that, we are playing the guys that give us the best chance to win, and we've just got to make sure we keep working and coaching and trying to make the guys we've got better.”

On recruiting this next year
“Recruiting is big for us all over. We didn’t look like Michigan looked on Saturday and that’s the part that recruiting gets you. We've got to continue to recruit well. A great thing for us right now in recruiting is I think we’re going to be able to go out and tell people that this is a big time place and a unbelievable environment to play and there’s going to be an opportunity to come in and compete to play early because of our holes and lack of depth in some places.”

On what positions Michigan looked better at physically
“Pretty much all of them. We ran a bunch of young guys out there, and we’ve got some young guys that are going to be great players, but they have 22-year-olds and we had 18-year-olds in some positions. They’ve recruited well for several years with [Jim] Harbaugh, they’ve developed well, and that’s where I want us to be in a couple years. We’re going to fight right now, and the guys we’ve got are good enough to be a really good team if we put it all together.”

On if it’s safe to say Adrian Martinez will start Saturday
“Yes, that’s safe.”

On how helpful it’ll be to the team knowing who is going to start at quarterback
“More than anything having just one guy getting the reps with the first group. Other than going into Colorado, we haven’t played a game where we have one guy getting the reps that was going to play in the game, and that only lasted for three quarters. Both those guys [Adrian Martinez and Andrew Bunch] I think have done a good job. They were under duress on Saturday, but “Bunchy” did a good job, Adrian [Martinez] battled. And experiences like those are great for them to get even though the outcome was very bad.”

On what the team has done well through the first three games
“At times early on we looked like a team that we need to look like, particularly in the Colorado game. There was a couple drives where we got things rolling and started using tempo and started gashing Troy, but it just wasn’t consistent enough. I don’t know how many first downs we had on Saturday and I don’t care, but there weren’t very many times Saturday where it looked like I want it to look.”

On how the team views getting the first, first down
“The first, first down is important. What you don’t want to do as a tempo team is go out and play fast then go three-and-out and put the defense back out on the field and do it again. Pretty soon your defense is on the field 40 of the 60 minutes and playing 110 snaps. Offensively, if we do better it’s going to help the defense. Defensively if we do better, it’s going to help the offense and special teams has to do better for both sides.”

On correcting penalties
“I hope it’s correctable. We are working on it every day, where we have been for three weeks and some of it hasn’t been corrected. I think some of them are decisions we can continue to impress upon the guys that they have to make better decisions. There’s some other ones you know, hustling down there to try to get down as a gunner and running into a punt returner. Those are mistakes you just can’t make. We’ve got to fix all those things, we’ve been working hard to fix them, and we’ve got to keep working hard to fix them.”

On what this team has learned
“We are learning a lot every week. We will continue to get to know our team better, keep trying to put them in the best situation we can. The last two games have been a little unique in that the defenses were multiple, we got a lot of different pressures from Michigan a lot of different looks from Troy. To have a chance against Michigan, we had to really utilize some schemes that were unique to that week, but we didn’t handle those very well as a team. That being said, we tried to stay pretty basic against Troy and we didn’t execute those things great. That all comes down to experience in the scheme and practicing better. I wasn’t happy with practice leading up to this week. If today’s an indication, then we’re on a better track this week.”

On making sure Saturday’s loss doesn’t linger
“Well I haven’t been thinking about it since Saturday night except coming in here and getting all these questions about it. You can’t look backwards, you've got to look forward.”

On Purdue
“They’re a good team. I think Jeff Brohm is one of the best coaches in the country. I think he did an unbelievable job where he is. I think he’s smart. I think he gets his team playing well. They’ve got some quarterbacks that can really throw it, they’ve got a big time receiver that’s a young kid, and they have good linebackers on defense along with some other people. It’s a team that I think aren’t where they want to be from a record standpoint, but they got beat twice on last-second field goals and the whole thing could be different with one or two plays. Not much different from us other than they’re coming off a win and we are coming off getting our butts whipped.”

On getting a better start in the game
“We've got off to a bad start in all three games. Really that starts in the summer, it starts in the weight room, it starts everywhere. When it’s time to work out, run the first sprint, do the first rep of lifting, you’ve got to be ready to go. I think our kids think they’re ready to go, but we certainly haven’t played well on defense in the first drive of Colorado, in the first drive of Michigan. Offensively we’ve come out and done pretty well at the beginning and two of the games started with turnovers. We’re not a good enough team to spot people 14, 17, or 20 points in the first quarter and those are the first quarters we’ve had.”

On the new redshirt rule and whether he keeps an eye out for more in-season transfers
“We’ll have a database, the NCAA is creating a database of kids that are filing for transfer. There’s nothing we can do about it after really Monday of the first game week, we can’t take any new kids into school. There’s nothing we can do about it now. That’s a discussion for recruiting and down the road.”

On what loving football looks like to a coach and how many more guys like that does he need to get
“I want a whole team full of guys that are tough and love football. I think times when things are going really well and times when things are going really poorly those are the best judges of your character. When you’re winning and you’re undefeated do you still come to practice and work like you’re winless, and when you’re winless do you come to practice and do everything you can to change your circumstances. In both of those situations, if you love football you’re going to come to work and do the best you can because you love the game and you want to be great at it.”

On whether there is a guy or two on the team that he thinks love football
“Yeah there’s several. If I had to pick a couple, Stanley (Morgan) on offense, he was frustrated and not in a bad way, he just wants a different result. He went out and battled. (Mohamed) Barry goes out and battles, Luke Gifford goes out and battles. We have a bunch of those guy. I’m not sure we have a whole team of them yet, and we want to get there, but there’s several guys doing things the right way.”

On whether he’s talked to Tom Osborne since Saturday and what his advice is
“My impression is he probably fishes Sunday and Monday, so I usually see him about the middle of the week.”

On how this is affecting him personally
“Nobody’s more frustrated than me, but I’m also never going to panic. I know what we’re asking guys to do works, maybe this is a little bigger fix or it’s taking longer than what I expected. There’s no question in my mind that we’re going to get it fixed. I came here for a reason, I had other opportunities, came here for a reason because I want to be here. This is the team I want to coach. We’re doing the same things that we’ve done with other teams to turn them into winners. In fact we’re working harder at it. It’s going to come. Summer’s not here yet but it’s coming. Sooner or later it’s coming.”

On whether losing the game against Akron changed how he plans to use the four-game redshirt rule
“I think that’s a conversation for down the road. Right now we’re focused 100 percent on Purdue. They need this win, we need this win. I know that their coach wants to win, expects to win, we want to win, expect to win. We’re not changing anything we do, not even our approach to what’s best for our kids, our young kids or when they’re playing or when they’re not. As we get further along down the season we’ll evaluate which kids have played how many games and if there’s opportunities to get some young guys in that are ready, we’ll continue to make those decisions each week.”

On how he would characterize the psyche of the team
“I think they’re anxious for the results to change. The majority of the team I think is frustrated and wants to go to work to change it. I’m not sure it’s 100 percent, I can’t look into the minds of each kid, but judging on how they came out in practice today, I saw a bunch of guys that are fighting back to make it different.”

On Luke Gifford’s comment about the team needing better Wednesdays and Thursdays and how much of that is film on their own time and doing the little things after practice
“It’s everything, I’m not sure it’s film room as much as just coming ready to go every day and understanding that you win the game on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. We started off the week really well last week and then it got progressively worse on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. I’m not sure why. Hopefully it doesn’t happen this week. Our best week of preparation was the Colorado game week as a whole. I talk about being better every single day, we weren’t better in preparation the last two weeks. There’s a lot of circumstances with new quarterbacks and things of that nature, but there’s no excuse if you’re going to get ready to play well. It doesn’t just happen on Saturday it has to happen on the field at practice.”

On what he’s learned about running the quarterback, how much he plans on using Adrian Martinez to run the ball and how his health factors in to that
“We don’t have the luxury of being overly protective with him. We have to call what we think is going to work in the game. I think (Andrew Bunch) has shown he can come in and do a good job. We had to protect Marcus (Mariota) a little bit, just because he was so valuable to us at Oregon that we didn’t want to run him 20 times a game. McKenzie (Milton) as great a player as he was, isn’t a man of huge stature so we didn’t want to run him up the middle a bunch, but we found creative ways to do it. Adrian is a little different, Adrian weighs about as much as I did when I was playing here and I think in the future he’ll be durable enough that we can do about whatever we want to him. The situation we’re in we’ll be a little careful but we have to call whatever play we think is going to work.”

On the pros and cons of playing Bethune-Cookman on their bye week
“We discussed that and at the end of the day it wasn’t my decision. I still wish Akron would have played us on Sunday morning. I think that would have helped our team out a lot of ways. Playing 12 straight games isn’t great for the kids, they need some time off, it’s not great for the coaches, we need to be out recruiting on that week. These guys have worked hard enough they deserve to play 12 games, and I’m just grateful that somebody agreed to come in here and play us, look forward to that.”

On whether he will still send coaches out to recruit despite the lack of a bye week
“Recruiting is important, I think we can see it as a coaching staff we have to continue to try to get more good players on the football team. That’s going to be the lifeblood for us going forward, we’re going to miss out on the bye week, so if there’s some chances to get coaches out on Thursdays or Fridays before games we’ll do it. We’re not going to do it at the cost of getting our team ready to play.”

On what makes for successful special team play and what has been lacking on special teams
“Well fielding punts and not giving up touchdowns on punt returns would be a good start.”

On whether putting Tyjon Lindsey back on the field after he dropped a punt was a gesture meant to indicate confidence in him
“To be honest with you we’re going to put the guy out there that we think can do the best job and we’ll evaluate that every week and make sure we’re putting the guys out there that can give us the best chance to be successful on any play. We’re also never going to give up on a kid. They need to know that, they need to know that mistakes aren’t going to get them cut or benched immediately, mistakes aren’t going to get them cussed at. The only chance to help someone improve is to support them and help them and teach them.”