A blowout loss like last week’s against Ohio State can linger and affect the team’s mindset in the weeks to come. That is what the Huskers will have to deal with this week when they take on the Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday.
Putting the Ohio State loss behind the team was also a theme at Monday’s availability.
“We can’t let Ohio State beat us twice,” sophomore defensive back Cam Taylor-Britt said. “We have to let [Saturday’s loss] fall off. That’s a loss on the schedule and now it’s on to the next.”
Nebraska will have to be ready because Northwestern is not a team to take lightly even though it sits at 1-3 on the season. Last week, the Wildcats kept it close with a talented Wisconsin team before falling apart late in the game.
The strength of the Wildcats is their defense, particularly their run defense. Last week against Wisconsin, they held star Badger running back Jonathan Taylor to only 119 yards on 26 carries for a season-low 4.6 yards per carry.
“They’re physical, they don’t allow you to run through the tackles very easily,” head coach Scott Frost said. “Their defensive backs play off and don’t give up anything big, and they do a good job rallying to the football. So, they do a good job making you earn what you get.”
One way the Huskers may choose to attack the Wildcat run defense could be with the newly-implemented I-formation and what Frost calls the “double-wing” formation, both of which can use the triple option, a Husker staple when Frost was the quarterback over 20 years ago.
They debuted these formations against Ohio State and had success at times with it. Frost said they will continue to use these formations for the rest of the year based off what the defense gives them.
“We have some personnel that I think can run it,” Frost said. “You can’t run that stuff unless you’ve been working on it. We’ve been working on it for a long time.”
Sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez also talked about what it’s like to run the triple option even though his last experience using it was in middle school.
“I think it is a little bit of a different read,” Martinez said. “But it is something that we practice and I think just being a dual-threat athletic quarterback, getting those reps and just working on it you get used to reacting in that way.”
According to Martinez, Frost has even hopped under center to show him that decision-making in action.
In national news, California passed a law Monday morning allowing student-athletes to profit off of their own name, image and likeness. The law does not take effect until 2023, but it now forces the NCAA’s hand.
The ramifications of the decisions have already begun and Frost had a few words about it, although he wanted to stay out of the politics of it all.
“I hope that at the end of the day college football and college athletics survive in a way that allows opportunities for all students that want to compete to compete,” Frost said. “...It’s a slippery slope, and I hope there are smart people that can navigate it and it ends up in a good place.”
Nebraska athletics also announced Monday morning that they are launching a Spanish broadcast for Saturday’s Northwestern football game. It is the first non-English sports broadcast done by the university and when Frost was asked about it, he said it was a huge moment.
“I think there’s a lot of residents in Nebraska where Spanish is their first language,” Frost said. “Nebraska’s one team, one heartbeat and one state, one heartbeat. I think it’s great that we are going to broadcast the game that every Nebraska fan can enjoy it.”
Nebraska takes on Northwestern on Oct. 5 at 3 p.m. Television coverage will be carried by FOX. For the Spanish broadcast, it will be on 97.7 FM for most of eastern Nebraska and 93.3 FM for central Nebraska.