LINCOLN, Neb. — Controversial Nebraska coach Scott Frost said on Tuesday there is no tension between him and new offensive coordinator Mark Whipple following the Cornhuskers’ season-opening game against Northwestern in Ireland.
Frost, 15-30 over five seasons, said in his comments minutes after the 31-28 loss that the Huskers needed to be more creative on offense and the coaching staff needed to work better together.
His comments were interpreted in some quarters as criticizing Whipple, who took over Frost’s playcalling duties when he was hired from Pittsburgh.
Asked at his weekly press conference if he and Whipple disagree, Frost said, “No, not at all. He’s really smart. Really good at what he does. We have a lot of other coaches who are really smart and good at what that does.” them. We have to find our rhythm to bring the best things together. I thought Saturday was good. Could be better.”
Whipple will meet with the media on Wednesday. The Huskers play North Dakota this weekend.
Frost had dubbed plays for nearly a decade, since his time as an assistant in Oregon, and he understands the particular focus the task requires.
“Simply put, if I were to name a game, I wouldn’t want someone else pushing a lot of stuff down my throat,” he said. “You get into a rhythm like a playcaller. That’s the approach I took. Whip is an elite playcaller. I think that showed up in the first two and a half minutes. You see what can be done with this foul. “
In the first half, the Huskers attack was as sharp as ever in the Frost era. But it stalled in the middle of the third quarter and never recovered, and the running game did almost nothing except Anthony Grant’s 46-yard touchdown run.
Frost took full blame for his ill-advised call for an onside kick when the Huskers led Northwestern 28-17 in the third quarter. The Wildcats recovered at the Nebraska 44, seizing the momentum and scoring two touchdowns as the Huskers attack went dormant.
Frost raised eyebrows with two comments after the game. First, he said: “I think as an attacking staff we have to learn that you have to be a little creative in this competition.”
He later acknowledged that it was difficult for him to stop playing.
“I said this, there’s not one way to do things, but I think we can work together a little bit more,” he said.
The Huskers rushed for just 110 yards, mostly on runs between tackles.
“In the Big Ten, it’s hard to just turn around and give it a back and think you’re going to be really consistent,” he said Tuesday. “I think I referred [in the Saturday postgame] to have a few more things in the run game planned for the specific opponent.”
Quarterback Casey Thompson had one designed run, his 1-yard touchdown in the second quarter, and backup Logan Smothers came in for one play and contributed 7 yards.
Asked if he’d like to lead the quarterback more, Frost said: “We ran some of it. If I mentioned it, maybe we’d call a little more, but I wouldn’t have been able to manage things either. [Whipple] did to score us the first 28 points. It will have to be a marriage of different things and I think we will get better at that.”
The Huskers finished with 465 yards, but they scored just 84 of their last six possessions.
“It was 75 offensive plays, and not many complaints about the play calls from my side,” said Thompson, who passed 355 yards. “I think we could have done every run and pass-play. We need to make some changes and adjustments.”