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Red Report: Monday practice was Huskers’ best; details of Akron game contract

September 4, 2018

Nebraska might have had a bizarre weekend, but if Monday is any indication, Scott Frost thinks the team is bouncing back well.

“We had one of the best Mondays I’ve ever seen a team have today,” Frost said — high praise considering he oversaw an undefeated team at Central Florida and participated in a dominant run at Oregon.

His players agreed.

“I thought practice went really well today,” senior defensive tackle and captain Mick Stoltenberg said. “It was kind of a bizarre weekend for us and it’s good to just kind of get back to the work and stop thinking about all that. We’re glad to be onto a new thing and put all that behind us.”

The Huskers got a bit of a head start Sunday on game-planning for Colorado — they had no game film from Akron to review — and apparently hit the ground running. Monday’s practice ran a bit longer.

“I think we just brought the energy,” freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez said. “It was tough. It was going to be a tough day for us, coming from a canceled game. Not necessarily something you’d expect but we came in with energy. Offense and defense we were firing on all cylinders really. It starts from everybody.

“When we attack that, get things going, it sets the tone for a good day and we had a good day today.”

[ WATCH: Frost reacts to Akron, looks ahead to Colorado ]

Martinez has best practice: The freshman quarterback himself was among the Monday standouts, according to the head coach.

“He had his best practice I’ve ever seen him have,” Frost said, noting that Martinez was one of the first to speak up Saturday night and say the Huskers wanted to play Akron under any circumstance.

“He looked like a real guy today,” Frost said. “Just the way he was ripping the ball, making decisions. Getting it out, running. It was the best I’ve seen him look.

“So, I wish I could’ve seen it on Saturday night, but we’ll have to wait a few more days and I know he’s anxious to get his first snaps.”

[ WATCH: Martinez on his first ‘gameday’ experience ]

Contract clarifies little: NU released the game contract between Akron and Nebraska following a records request, and the language does not clarify what will happen to the $1.17 million the Zips expected to receive for coming to Lincoln.

The agreement, signed Oct. 6, 2014, lays out a series of provisions that could void the agreement — some extreme examples include “war, act of terrorism, invasion, hostilities, rebellion, insurrection, confiscation by order of government” — but there’s nothing specific about if a game is started and called off due to weather.

The contract also says one team owes the other $1 million for “failing to produce its team to play the scheduled game.”

NU deputy athletic director Bob Burton probably said it best Sunday when he told the Journal Star, “I’m sure that everybody is going to be looking at the language of the contract.”

They have time. The Huskers have until March 1, 2019, before the payment is due, per the agreement.

NU, CU share similarities: Neither Nebraska nor Colorado is exactly entering unfamiliar territory as the teams begin to prepare for each other.

“Definitely there are some similarities on both sides of the ball. They do a lot of things defensively that our guys do, a lot of things offensively that our guys do. So, there’s going to be some familiarity there,” Frost said. “We practice against what they do, they practice against what we do on offense a lot, that’s going to help as we’re trying to everything installed and have guys understand blocking schemes and the X’s and O’s of everything.”

The Buffaloes are coming off a 45-13 demolition of Colorado State, a game they led by two touchdowns a little more than 12 minutes into the first quarter.

“I think they’re coached very well, you don’t see them out of position ever, they’ve got a middle linebacker that made a bunch of plays, some really good guys on the secondary, some good guys up front.” I think schematically they do some really good things on offense, had two receivers that played really well and a quarterback that had great numbers. So, they get the benefit of having that game under their belt and we don’t, but I know our guys are preparing hard and will be ready. We’re going to do the best we can.”

[ TWO-MINUTE DRILL: Reaction to Monday’s news conference ]

Suh’s appearance a surprise: Frost said Monday he didn’t know Nebraska legend Ndamukong Suh was in attendance until somebody told him.

“I didn’t know he was coming,” Frost said. “But he’s obviously a great player and a great Husker, and we want all of those guys back, so it’s good to see a lot of the people that showed up for the game.”

Suh greeted a sold-out Memorial Stadium before the game and waved to fans as he made his way off the field during the weather delay that eventually ended the evening.

Suh had not attended a Husker football game since 2013, when Jordan Westerkamp caught a Hail Mary to beat Northwestern.

Frost said he has spoken with Suh multiple times since taking the Nebraska job.

“After I got the job I talked to Ndamukong Suh a few times and just like everybody I’ve talked to he just voiced his support and happiness that we were all back,” Frost said. “And like I said it’s good to have those guys on the same page.”

— Chris Basnett and Parker Gabriel

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