“It simply was bad today,” he admitted. “It starts with me and goes to the whole team.”
This sort of result — a lopsided loss to an Illinois team that fell 45-7 to Wisconsin and 41-14 to Minnesota — makes me wonder if I misjudged this Nebraska team in some key ways.
First off, I thought Frost’s 2020 team would have a ton of fight. I thought the way it handled itself starting in late March — being so intent on preparing hard and well for the season even in the midst of all the pandemic-related uncertainty — was a sign of a hungry program. I thought that it might even be a team that would play with an underdog mentality.
Instead, after one win against a winless Penn State squad, Nebraska (1-3) was lackadaisical against Illinois.
“I would die to play one more game on that turf,” said Frost, the former Husker quarterback great.
Trouble is, his enthusiasm doesn’t seem to inspire his players. It definitely didn’t on this day.
What’s more, Nebraska quarterback Luke McCaffrey said the Huskers lacked energy during the week of practice.
“The whole week, we addressed it and discussed it, but really didn’t change it,” he said.
That seems like a red flag for a Nebraska program that purportedly is scratching and clawing from the depths of failing to qualify for bowls the past three seasons. This is a program that’s becoming a punching bag for national pundits. Bottom line, the Huskers often seem to comport themselves like a program that is a threat to win a championship. They need to fully understand the unpleasant reality that they’re losing more and more respect because of performances like this one.
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