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Scott Frost finds it funny and maybe a little annoying.
Nebraska’s offense is different enough from the rest of the Big Ten, Frost said, that watching film of conference defenses playing other league teams doesn’t always help. Big Ten foes tend to break their habits against the Huskers and show wrinkles they haven’t previously shown.
Northwestern did that, Frost said.
“We need to do a good job of adjusting, and creating some opportunities,” Frost said Thursday. “We’ve got some looks, at least the last two weeks, that we weren’t expecting. And part of that is we need to block a little better, break a tackle, or make somebody miss from time to time. But I think those things will come.”
The Huskers have had great success under Frost against Illinois when it comes to yards and points. In 2018, NU gained 606 yards and scored 54 points against the Illini. Last season, the Huskers had 674 yards and 42 points. Frost said Illinois’ defense played Nebraska differently each year.
He expects another wrinkle Saturday. But one thing about Illinois’ defense doesn’t change: Gaining takeaways. Illinois is good at it with eight takeaways so far this season and a league-leading 28 in 2019. The Illini forced and recovered four Husker fumbles last season.
“They’ve caused about as many fumbles as anybody in the country this year and going back,” Frost said. “We need to take care of the football.”
JoJo Domann has played every defensive snap for the Huskers this season, plus some work on special teams. "But I still don’t think any of us have seen the ceiling on JoJo Domann yet.”
Frost deemed his team “ready” to play Saturday after a week of talking to them about not relaxing after a 30-23 win over Penn State.
“Defensively, I think we’re doing a really good job of that because we’re more veteran on defense,” Frost said. “I think those guys get it. Offense has just been a process of bringing those guys along the whole year and trying to lean on our veterans. But I was pleased with the intensity and attitude this week.”
No state football in Memorial Stadium
Frost lamented the fact that Memorial Stadium won’t be host the NSAA high school football state title games. Those will instead be conducted Friday at the site of the top remaining seeds.
Because of an NCAA recruiting dead period that runs through at least April 15, Frost can’t watch the games in person, either.
“We can’t go to the games and watch these kids play,” Frost said. “That being said, a championship is a championship. I wish everybody luck this week that’s playing in them.”
The Class A state championship is more than just Omaha Westside and Elkhorn South. It’s brother vs. brother, dad vs. dad, former Husker vs. former Husker.