Pitching with Pritch: The ship ain't sinking
The Huskers are 0-5. It is the worst start in Husker football history. The Husker football ship may not be sinking, but it is taking on water.
Coach Frost said it could get worse before it gets better and it may not have hit the bottom yet. Just look at the schedule and see how many truly winnable games you can find. There are not any that just jump out in the shape of a big W.
Frost also said if the players did not want to buy in to the program they should jump ship and a couple more of them did this past week. I don’t think Coach Frost is running a “Survivors” type situation like Bear Bryant ran at Texas A&M, where he started with over a 100 players and took them to Junction, Texas and came back with 39 who got the nickname “Survivors.” But the culture was set for A&M and even though the team went 1-9 the first year, Texas A&M won seven games the next year and won their conference the third year. The Husker players have not had to go through that type of training and practice, but the culture is being built for future years.
At this point of the season, Nebraska is their own worst enemy. They are drive stoppers all by themselves by the mistakes they keep making and usually right when they have a great offense play, only to see it all come back because of a penalty. The team had another game where they were hit with a 100 yards of penalties.
Last week, Coach Frost said they looked like the most undisciplined team in America and they look like that because they are the most undisciplined in college football at this time.
They have some outstanding moments. On offense against Wisconsin, they had another 500-yard-plus day. Adrian Martinez has flashes of greatness. When he has time, which the offensive line provided at times, he does a great job. He can run the ball, he has speed, he makes good decisions. Now they have to figure out how to do that on a consistent basis game in and game out.
Whatever the Huskers are doing to fix their penalty problem apparently is not going to work. That goes double for the special teams. Sometimes you wonder about tackling technique or lack thereof, but it still has to get better and consistent.
Some things that make you scratch your head a little is the Huskers approach to the running game. Devine Ozigbo gets 170 yards a week ago, which was enough to make the second team running back pack his bags and hit the road. And then this week the Huskers run only 10 times combined. I saw that stat and still think it is a misprint, but I can’t remember that many running plays so maybe it is correct.
Bottom line, in my humble, on-the-outside-looking-in opinion, is the ship has taken on some water but it sure ain’t sinking! The hill might have been a little steeper than everyone thought, and I would bet the Huskers would have been 0-5 if there had not been a coaching change.
It takes time to change the culture of a program. Frost might be a coach that goes 13-0 one year and 0-12 the next, who knows, but I think the ship will get righted and things will be excellent in the Husker football world in the near future.
Congratulations to the PCS boys’ XC team and their coaches on their winning the SPVA conference title this past Thursday running on their home course. The XC season is coming to a close with districts and state coming up in the next couple of weeks.
The teams got a little taste of not-great weather, but that might have been a good thing just in case Mother Nature decides to keep the coolness and drizzle coming. The teams could see it again down the road.