Nebraska Football has two games left on the schedule. Yes, as hard as it may be to believe the college football season is already nearing an end. Most would label the 2021 season for Nebraska Football as a failure and by “most” I mean everyone.
There have been flashes of what looks like a good team however the win/loss record projects otherwise. Many fans believe this team has shown progress in the Frost era while some disagree and wanted Coach Scott Frost fired long ago.
I am not here to debate anything along those lines. Whatever your opinion may be, Nebraska Football is moving forward with or without you.
With that being said there are plenty of questions about the program’s future and the importance of the final two games of the season.
Here are a few topics to pay attention to as the season winds down:
Building/Keeping a Strong Culture
Casey Rogers said in a press conference earlier this week that these next two weeks would be “culture games”. It is my opinion that the culture of Nebraska Football is much stronger than it was say three years ago.
I understand that this team lacked the “clutch gene” this year. However, being able to come back week after week and fight for your coach AFTER losing heartbreak after heartbreak means something. The easy thing for this team to do these last two weeks would be to lay down.
Besides playing for the seniors, there’s not much to play for. Keeping the contests close, or dare I say winning them, will mean a lot to have some sort of foundation moving forward with a partially new coaching staff on the way.
Husker faithful will also likely see some new faces on the field, with JoJo Domann out for the remainder of the season, keep your eye on young Isaac Gifford as he replaces him.
Shortly after Scott Frost and Trev Alberts released statements essentially letting the fanbase know Coach Frost would be back next year regardless of the outcome of these last two games, it was announced that multiple offensive assistants were fired. These names included Offensive Coordinator Matt Lubick, QB coach Mario Verduzco, OL coach Greg Austin, and Running Backs coach Ryan Held.
First of all, this is EXACTLY what needed to be done. The player development has not been there the last few years and Exhibit A is Adrian Martinez. While his athleticism and playmaking ability have always been impressive, the issues of protecting the football and decision-making have not improved since his freshman year. You could probably find some fans who would argue Martinez has not improved at all.
At first, I was sad to see Held go not only because of what a stand-up guy he seems to be but he also seemed to be a solid recruiter. However, after hearing Held was more focused on scheme rather than fundamentals, I get it. These backs have to be developed and it starts with making sure you’ve mastered the basics.
Scott Frost has decisions to make and I’m very interested to see who he lands on especially for the OC position.
I have one suggestion for him as he chooses his new staff. Ron Brown is currently the interim RB coach… KEEP HIM THERE. Brown has proven to be one of the best assistants in Nebraska Football history. He has helped produce numerous NFL talents at the position and is one of the highest character coaches in the country. If he wants the job, give it to him.
Is a Bowl Game Still on the Table?
In case you forgot Nebraska has made a bowl with a 5-7 record fairly recently when they won the Foster Farms Bowl against UCLA. Finishing the season with a couple of ranked wins would certainly give them a chance but I’m not holding my breath.
Will Adrian Martinez return?
The 2020 season gave players an extra year of eligibility. Adrian Martinez is eligible to come back as a fifth-year starter.
There are two questions for this one: Will he come back? and Do you want him to? As polarizing as the hot seat talks for Frost were, this debate may take the cake.
The kid is a natural-born leader and has real talent. But it just never seemed to all come together. When asked about his possible return, “Wisconsin is handful enough” answered Martinez.
I have backed Martinez his whole career at Nebraska and if he comes back, I’ll jump on the ride and cheer him on until the end. Maybe a new QB coach is what he needs?
However, my personal opinion is that Frost needs to take a look at the transfer portal and find a proven QB, preferably a grad transfer. But what’s your opinion? Do these last two games even matter? Who would you like to see on the offensive staff next year?
Go Big Red.