Nebraska Football exorcizes the ghost of Scott Frost with gritty win

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

For the longest time on Friday night, it appeared that this was the same old Nebraska football team. A team that beats itself far more often than the other team beats them.

That was especially the case on one particular drive late in the third quarter, where Mark Whipple inexplicably called an empty set pass play on 4th and 1 that resulted in a turnover in downs. Husker fans have seen this movie before. It seemed fitting that it happened in October since it was going to be yet another horror movie.

However, the Nebraska football team showed that this isn’t the same fragile group that lost 10 straight one-score games under Frost. This is Mickey Joseph’s team now, and that team is 1-0 in one-score games.

That’s not to say that everything is “fixed.” This game was still plenty ugly. There were still times when the offense simply didn’t look like it knew what it wanted to do.

There are going to be questions about just what Mark Whipple was doing, throwing it as often as he did when the Nebraska football team just needed a few yards here and there.

Whipple isn’t going to be the only coach who should get some questions, either. While some people loved how Mickey used his timeouts on the Huskers’ final offensive drive, I found it incredibly worrisome.

Up by a single point and not really moving the ball at all when they weren’t being helped by defensive penalties, I did not and do not understand the approach of running the play clock down to one and then calling a timeout.

I suppose I understand the argument that you want to make sure the players can take a deep breath and get the play right, but they also weren’t calling complex plays. When Nebraska punted the ball back to Rutgers with a minute on the clock, my very first thought was…we’re gonna want those timeouts, aren’t we?

But that was just the ghost of Scott Frost trying to grab on and claw his way back into my head. It turned out the Nebraska football team did not need those three timeouts. A defensive unit that might need to be getting those blackshirts back at some point soon bowed up and forced a third interception of the game. And that was that.

Dark cloud dispelled. Too many heartbreaks officially in the rearview mirror. First place in the Big Ten West?

Honestly, it’s shocking just how many weird stats were involved in this game.

The win tonight was the first time since 2018 that the Huskers won back-to-back Big Ten games. It was the first time since 2019 they won back-to-back games against FBS opponents.

It also marked the 21st straight loss at home against a Big Ten opponent for Rutgers.

And about that streak of 10 straight one-score losses? Guess who the last team the Huskers beat by one score was? Yep. Rutgers.

If that’s not a perfect bookend and the perfect way to say that the Scott Frost era is officially over for the Nebraska football team and the Mickey Joseph era is officially here, I don’t know what would.