Top 10 worst Nebraska football losses of the Scott Frost era

Scott Frost walks off the field after another loss Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Frost walks off the field after another loss Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports /

I’m hopeful the Matt Rhule era for Nebraska Football will lead the Huskers back to football glory. I’m excited as ever, actually.

Once this last season ended, it was too soon (at least for me) to look back and think about the entire Scott Frost era. I just needed to flush it and move it.

But now it’s July. That means fall camp is less than a month away.  Typically, there’s not much to talk about. (The Northwestern football program is helping us out with that right now, of course.)

Besides, time heals all wounds, right?

I’ve been in a reflective mood lately and have asked myself, “What were the worst losses of the previous Husker regime?” By worst, I mean: the most painful, baffling, mind-boggling, and “HOW IN THE WORLD DID THAT HAPPEN? kind of loss.

Let’s get on with it. The top 10 worst losses of the Scott Frost Era.

10. Home Finale Heartbreaker (2019 vs Iowa, 24-27)

What Makes It Bad: It was the second year in a row Nebraska lost to Iowa in a heartbreaker, this time on a walk-off field goal on a senior day.

You Knew It Was Over When: Iowa hit an 18-yard pass to get to the 30-yard line with 7 seconds left for a shot at a field goal. (Iowa wasn’t going to miss, and you knew it).

9. Nebraska Football’s Sleepy Saturday (2018 vs Troy, 19-24)

What Makes It Bad: I was at this game. It was an early kickoff and hot. And Nebraska played like they wanted to be anywhere else other than on the Tom Osborne Field turf that day.

You Knew It Was Over When: Troy was up 17-7 at halftime.

8. The Air Raid (2022 vs Georgia Southern, 42-45)

What Makes It Bad: Georgia Southern, who went 3-9 the year before, came in guns a blazin’ with Kyle Vantrease (who played Nebraska the year before as the QB for Buffalo). Vantrease threw for over 400 yards. Scott Frost was fired the next day.

You Knew It Was Over When: Georgia Southern got the ball with 2:29 to go and “only” had to go 75 yards to score.

7. The Winnable Game (2018 vs Purdue, 28-42)

What Makes It Bad: After going up 7-0 in the 1st quarter, Purdue reeled off 27 unanswered points and never looked back.

You Knew It Was Over When: Scott Frost said the week before that the Huskers had a “winnable game” coming up the next week against Purdue.

6. The Covid Trap (2020 vs Minnesota, 17-24)

What Makes It Bad: Minnesota had over three dozen–yes, three DOZEN–players out due to Covid-19 protocols. And Nebraska couldn’t take advantage.

You Knew It Was Over When: Minnesota went up 10-0 to end the 1st quarter.

5. The Fumble (2021 vs Michigan, 29-32)

What Makes It Bad: ABC. Primetime at home. Top 10 team. Thunderstruck. It was all there for the taking. It was like a back-and-forth heavyweight fight. [Sidebar: I remember my wife going to bed a bit early. She looked into my eyes and said, “I just want you to prepare yourself emotionally. Because they are probably not going to win.” I knew she was right. I still wasn’t prepared.]

You Knew It Was Over When: Adrian Martinez fumbled on a first down run with 1:55 left in the 4th quarter.

4. The We-Just-Needed-Just-One-Stop Game (2018 vs Northwestern, 31-34 OT)

What Makes It Bad: Nebraska blew a 14-point lead and a 10-point lead in the 4th quarter.

You Knew It Was Over When: Northwestern got the ball on their own 1-yard line with only 1:50 left. The game went to overtime–but you knew it was over then, admit it.

3. The Meltdown (2019 vs Colorado, 31-34 OT)

What Makes It Bad: First, losing to Colorado always sucks. Second, it was the second year in a row of heartbreak against the Buffs. Third, Nebraska football was up 17-0 at halftime.

You Knew It Was Over When: Nebraska didn’t score in the 3rd quarter, and Colorado put together back-to-back TD drives to end the 3rd and start the 4th.

2. The Onside Kick (2022 vs Northwestern 28-31)

What Makes It Bad: Northwestern won one game all year long. This one.

You Knew It Was Over When: Nebraska failed to get an onside kick with a 28-17 lead. It’s the kick that will live in infamy.

1. The Punt (2021 vs Michigan State 20-23 OT)

What Makes It Bad: Michigan State had ZERO first downs in the second half. Read that one more time. Nebraska football’s defense played absolutely lights out. It was unreal. But all because of one horrifically bad punt the game turned on a dime. I’ve watched a lot of football and I’ve never seen a worse punt play in my life. And it couldn’t have come at a more unlucky time. That’s why this game is tops on my list.

You Knew It Was Over When: Nebraska football Punter Daniel Cerni punted the ball to the wrong side of the field, and the Spartan return man took it to the house. Yes, it only tied the game. But–admit it–you knew it was over.

What’s the Worst Nebraska Football Loss in the Frost Era for You?

Agree? Disagree? We’d love to hear from you. Drop your thoughts in the comments.