No coach in recent memory has been given a longer leash to start their tenure than Scott Frost. In today’s 99 Things we will look at the current state of the Nebraska program and what he will need to do in order to retain his position. Frost is 15-29 in four seasons as the Cornhuskers head coach and has yet to finish a season with a winning record. Nebraska has gone all in on Frost but now is the time to see results.
Frost was a quarterback for Nebraska when they won their last national championship in 1997. His return to Nebraska has been underwhelming thus far given the expectations. Frost previously coached two seasons at UCF including an undefeated season which included a *National Title*. Most fans predicted Frost would have success at Nebraska after seeing him rebuild UCF in a short period of time. Entering year five Frost will need to see vast improvements or the program will likely be looking for a new head coach.
One of the biggest issues for Nebraska has been the ability to finish games. Nebraska lost all but one of their games by eight points or less (the other was by nine points). This included losses to Oklahoma, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Iowa. The Cornhuskers had the 3rd hardest schedule in 2021. The crossover games are much easier in 2022 as they do not have Ohio State, Penn State or Michigan State. The Cornhuskers also host Oklahoma rather than travel to Norman.
Frost was able to evaluate his staff and make changes in areas he believed the team needed to improve. Mark Whipple was hired as the offensive coordinator after leading Pitt’s successful offense in 2021. Whipple will be tasked with improving an offense which averaged less than 28 points per game. He will also be breaking in a new quarterback as Adrian Martinez transferred to Kansas State. Former Texas quarterback Casey Thompson is expected to take the snaps this fall. Thompson threw for 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions as the Longhorns signal caller last fall.
The special teams will also be a focal point for Nebraska this season. Frost hired Bill Busch to be the special teams coordinator for this fall. Nebraska previously did not have a designated coach to oversee the special teams. The Cornhuskers only converted on 50% of their field goal attempts last season which ranked them toward the bottom in the Big Ten. Nebraska also ranked 120th in net punt yards averaging just 35 yards. Special teams is commonly overlooked by fans but the aspect becomes incredibly important for programs losing games by a slim margin.
Nebraska did make strides on the field even if their record did not reflect the improvements. Frost will be expected to improve the record this season and make a bowl game. Any record with less than six wins will likely result in his dismissal. The Big Ten West is wide open this season which will allow his team the opportunity to rise in the standings. Can Frost take advantage of his opportunity and restore Nebraska to relevancy?