Nebraska Football: Scott Frost’s comments on the offensive line raises a big question

Jul 26, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Scott Frost talks to the media during Big 10 football media days at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 26, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Scott Frost talks to the media during Big 10 football media days at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports /

When it comes to the potential success of the Nebraska football team, most fans tend to agree that the offensive line is going to play a big part.

It makes sense, considering that the offensive line has played more than its fair share of a role in the struggles the Huskers have seen in the last four or five years. That is, after all, one of the reasons that Greg Austin was fired and Donovan Raiola was hired last year.

If the Cornhuskers want to go from 3-9 to even 6-6 they are going to need a much better performance in the trenches. They’re going to need people like Teddy Prochazka to get healthy and show what they can do for their new coach.

As it so happens, they are also going to need Donovan Raiola to work out. When he was hired, despite never having actually been a position coach all on his own, there were more than a few people surprised that Frost was willing to trust such an important aspect of the staff to someone who hasn’t yet proven himself.

After all, when it came to hiring a new wide receiver’s coach, Frost turned to Mickey Joseph, who is both known to Nebraska football fans and has a reputation around college football as an real up-and-comer. When it came to hiring an offensive coordinator, he turned to Mark Whipple, who is both well known for his tutelage of Heisman finalist Kenny Pickett and for having a long and storied career.

Raiola, in comparison, is a relative wild card.

Maybe that’s why Frost made some comments at his Saturday press conference that were a big of a head-scratcher. It makes sense that the Husker head coach would heap praise on one of the most important units on his team. It also makes sense that he’d be defending the honor of that unit’s new head coach and one of his most important hires. It’s the way that he decided to go about doing it that should raise some eyebrows.

“I’ve got to tell you, they’re working harder than I’ve ever seen them work,” Frost told reporters according to

"“The guys wear monitors that track overall output and 100 other statistics. They’re more than doubling in a lot of cases the amount of effort they put out the last couple years in practice. A lot of that has to do with the type of kids we have, and a lot has to do with Donny and Aaron working with them. They’re doing an unbelievable job.”"

The very first question that comes to mind is whether or not these new monitors that track output are a new thing. Perhaps one of the reasons that Raiola got the job over what would seem like plenty of competition is that he had ideas like these kinds of trackers.

Of course, the fact that Frost pointed to “the last couple of years” would seem to indicate the tools have been around since this new regime.

The second question is, does he really think they’re working that much harder? And if the stats are showing that, then what does it say about his leadership this first four years that he was ok with the level of effort?

Yes, the rebuttal is obviously going to be that he had nothing to compare it to, considering that, according to Frost’s claims, Greg Austin’s bunch never worked anywhere close to this hard. At the same time, the product on the field was clearly wanting.

Still, the comments by the Nebraska football head coach can indeed be dismissed since he might have really not known just how much his offensive lineman could work if they were pushed harder. In that regard, he does get a pass. But there is still one more question that comes to mind that he really shouldn’t get a pass on anymore,

How much longer does Scott Frost get to blame a lack of effort and by extension, a bad culture for his program’s failings?

When he arrived with this shiny new staff five years ago, there was an awful lot of talk of all the bad habits the Nebraska football team had developed under Mike Riley. There was talk about how much more the players were lifting and how much faster they were running. The implications were that now that Frost and his hires were in Lincoln a lack of effort was no longer going to be excused.

And then, it appears that a lack of effort was excused for four years.

This isn’t a particularly new happening with the Huskers under their current head coach. In fact, when things go wrong for the Cornhuskers, Frost has been known to fall back on the idea that he hasn’t quite fixed the culture and that there are some “bad actors” that are still undercutting his and his assistants’ approach.

This time around, the bad actor appears to be the guy he hired to coach his offensive line the last four years. While it’s hard to argue that the results Austin got were acceptable, it’s jarring to see the man who brought him here in the first place – and insisted that he bring over as many coaches as possible from UCF – talk about how much better things are now.

Next. Nebraska football got at least one AP Top 25 vote heading into 2022. dark

At some point, the Nebraska football team’s head coach is going to have to own up to his role in this kind of stuff. So perhaps there’s one more question born from these comments. When does that happen?