Husker press conference: Plenty of motivation for finale against Iowa
LINCOLN – Scott Frost has heard the fan chatter and knows the recent lopsided history between Nebraska and Iowa.
But the Husker coach said during his Monday press conference that, as far as he is concerned, there are no extra emotions attached to the Black Friday meeting.
“Rivalry games – I’ve said this a bunch – are kind of for the fans more than the players,” Frost said. “We have to prepare like we’re playing anybody else. I got a lot of respect for their coaching staff and their program, so there’s not any animosity or hatred between the coaches. I know the fans probably argue and don’t like each other. But they run a good program; we’re trying to run one here.”
Still, Frost said, given Nebraska’s run of four wins in its last five games, capping that momentum with one more victory would ideal. Offensively, the Hawkeyes tight end tandem of Omaha native Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson is as good as any in the Big Ten. On defense, the physicality of the Iowa front seven is similar to Michigan State’s group that held NU to three field goals last weekend.
Frost took a few playful jabs during his 16-minute media session. He said he Erik Chinander – NU’s defensive coordinator and a former Iowa player – used to argue frequently about the two teams (“Now he’s finally on the good side,” Frost said). He also knew Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz from his own time at Northern Iowa in the late 2000s, saying “his sustained success is impressive, but you still don’t get to 150 (wins) unless you’re a little bit old. I’ll make sure to remind him of that when I see him.”
Other items of note from the press conference:
>>> Senior safety Antonio Reed received a Blackshirt following his Saturday game in which he recorded seven tackles, forced two fumbles and made an interception.
>>> Frost said freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez actually played one of his better games Saturday. Despite the frigid conditions and stout Michigan State defense, the 18-year-old understood it wouldn’t be a shootout and operated accordingly.
>>> The coaches adjusted their preparation for the Friday game by pushing everything up a day. Frost said the accelerated schedule isn’t ideal, but added Nebraska’s Black Friday tradition outweighs any personal inconvenience.
>>> Nebraska coaches are “gonna get out in force” as they make a final recruiting push leading up to the Dec. 19 early signing period. He said prospects and their families have noticed the Huskers’ ongoing transformation.