Nebraska head coach Scott Frost met with the media Monday to discuss the team’s loss to Northwestern on Saturday as well as this week’s game with Penn State. The following is a transcript from some of the questions from that press conference.

On the plan heading into the week at quarterback

“It’s going to have to develop. We had a lot of kids play well. A lot of young kids that are I think ready to play, and I think our team understands that we’re going to compete and let them compete on the practice field and play the guy that practices the best and gives us the best chance to win. So there’s a bunch of positions that will be that way this week, including quarterback.”

On Luke McCaffrey’s response to going into the Northwestern game in the fourth quarter and Adrian Martinez’s response since being back at practice

“Those are both great human beings and really good football players. We trust them both. We rely on them both. They’ll both handle the situation well and I hope they come to compete.”

On Adrian Martinez’s efficiency at quarterback against Northwestern

“I talked to him about it. I think there just needs to be some decisions that are made a little quicker and more efficiently. Then a few balls that we’re just errant or out of bounds that needed to be put on the money, but for the most part I think it’s just processing information quickly, getting the ball out on time where it’s supposed to go at a better clip, and just eliminating the plays that are killing us on drives and just a couple plays here and there that will kill you in a game.”

On the offensive tempo so far and the impact the quarterback’s play has on determining that tempo

“Some of the tempo is a quarterback, and some of it is our decision to do that or not. I was impressed and pleased with how our defense has progressed these first two games. You know part of the reason we haven’t gone light speed around here is we didn’t want to leave the defense on the field that long. I’m really impressed and happy with how they’re coming along. That will free us up to potentially get a little more aggressive with tempo on offense.”

On the impact of offensive penalties

“I’ve said this a bunch, but our margin of error isn’t big enough right now to overcome those things. That was the emphasis all week in our message to the guys what we emphasized in practice. We still had too many. There’s been too many drives where we start 1st-and-15 because we jump offsides. They were shifting up front. That cost us a couple. Our guys got jumpy and moved when they yelled shift and moved, but that’s a focus thing and that’s a discipline thing and just as an entire football program we’re going to get that fixed.”

On Penn State and coach James Franklin

“I know him really well as a person. My first job was at Kansas State in 2006. He was the offensive coordinator, and I was the defensive GA, so he and I are friends. I haven’t watched them very much on tape going back, just because we haven’t played them. They’re a really talented football team. You look at their defensive guys and just the length and speed they have everywhere. You know they’ve had kind of some unfortunate things happen to them here at the beginning of the year. I know they weren’t expecting to be where they are, but it’s a really, really good team, a really talented team we have coming in here.”

On Penn State being better than its 0-3 record shows

“I don’t think there’s any doubt. You watch the first game and give credit to Indiana, but you know Penn State pretty much dominated most of that game and just didn’t come out on top. I thought they battled with a really good Ohio State team and just had some unfortunate things happen to them in the Maryland game, but I’m sure they’re going to be hungry for us.”

On Luke’s McCaffrey’s performance on the final two drives at Northwestern

“Luke came in and did a good job. We had a play on 1st-and-Goal at the 2 that we made a mistake on. He kind of got us in the wrong thing. That’s a first game thing. Obviously the interception was unfortunate. That’s got to be a high ball, high and inside. So there’s a couple mistakes, but Luke’s personality in general, he’s a sparkplug. He’s just got energy that exudes out of him, and I think people rally to that. And that’s kind of why we did it. We felt like we needed a spark and just his nature provides that spark.”

On increasing red-zone efficiency on offense

“Well we’ve got to work on it. We worked a lot on it this past week. Again, I give a lot of credit to Northwestern. I think at the end of the year they might end up being statistically the best defense in our league. You know it wasn’t just us. Maryland scored seven on them I think, and has been lighting up the scoreboard since. Iowa didn’t score a lot of points and scored a lot the next week, so there’s no doubt it was a really good defense and a lot of the credit goes to them. Man there was about six or seven plays where just one thing went wrong, one missed assignment, one missed block and we would have punched those in. Those are things we have to fix as a coaching staff.”

On the quarterback situation and determining the rotation

“I wish I had the magic answer for that. All I can tell you is I’m going to treat that position just like any other, and it would be a disservice to my football team to play a player at any position if we had a player at that position that we thought gave us a better chance to win, so we just have to evaluate it like any other position, and play the guy that practices the best and is most ready to help us win a football game.”

On dividing snaps at the No. 1 quarterback position in practice

“You know most through all of fall camp in all our practices it was 50/50. When you’re getting ready for a game we give more to the number one quarterback than the two. We’ve got to determine what we’re going to do there.”

On the status of center Cam Jurgens

“He’ll be day-to-day.”

On Matt Farniok replacing Cam Jurgens at center against Northwestern

“I thought Matt played one of his best games as a Husker. I think Matt was our best offensive lineman in that game. It’s a credit to him that he’s able to do all those things. He’s a team captain for a reason, and I’m sure he’ll be ready to play whatever role we ask him this week.”

On young wide receivers Zavier Betts, Marcus Fleming and Omar Manning

“I thought those guys played well. There’s a couple mistakes here and there, but you know just looking at the film, honestly there’s no doubt with those guys on the field that they help us stretch the field more. We’ve just got to keep bringing those guys along, and for all of them it’s a matter of getting practices under their belt. I mentioned this, but they’ve all for different reasons missed part of our preparation up to this point. Now they’re all up and going, so we’re going to fast track and see how fast they can pick everything up and again evaluate the practice and play the guys that we think give us the best chance. All those guys are coming along and we’re anxious to have them know the whole system so we can get them out there.”

On his message to the team about their confidence and sense of urgency

“I think they realize that’s the situation they’re in. There’s no doubt in my mind how much progress we’ve made. We just need to turn it into wins. That game Saturday was as frustrating a one as I’ve had here because we had opportunities to be in control of that game. We could have won the game, maybe even should have won the game. That wasn’t like playing some other games where I felt we were just outmatched talent-wise. We weren’t in that game. The guys are impatient, just like I’m impatient to get this changed. I keep saying it, but once it turns it’s going to turn in a big way and we need to have that happen soon.”

On what has pleased him the most with the defense

“It probably starts up front. You know we played Northwestern, I think was leading the league in rushing going into our game. Ohio State’s probably one of the best teams in the country, and I didn’t think we got pushed around up front in either game. At the very least, held our own. We’re starting to get more speed on the back end and getting linebackers to plays, and getting the secondary to plays. There haven’t been a lot of busts where we’re just giving guys easy things that have happened in the past. There haven’t been any loafs where guys aren’t giving effort. So we keep doing those things and our defense is good enough right now to help us win games or keep us in games, and we need the offense to put up points to correlate with the numbers of first downs and yards that we’re getting.”

On the pressure he is putting on himself to turn things around at Nebraska quickly

“Too much. You know I’m always going to point my thumb at myself and not the finger at someone else. The state of Nebraska means so much to me. This program is everything. This is my life right now and I’m doing everything I can to get this where everybody wants it as fast as possible. It certainly hasn’t gotten there as quick as I want it to, but I haven’t for one second lost hope and belief in where we’re going and what we’re doing, and just being around it every day and seeing the progress, seeing the talent that’s been infused into this program. Seeing us being competitive again. It’s about turning the page and finding a way to win a game and then getting on a roll and getting some momentum, and I think once that starts to happen we have all the pieces in the program that we need to win and win at a good clip. But nobody is more impatient than I am and nobody’s putting more pressure on themselves than I am.”

On getting Wan’Dale Robinson more touches on offense

“We need Wan’Dale to be a bigger part of the game plan, so we’re going to do what we need to. We’ve had a lot of plays designed for him in the first couple of weeks. That hasn’t panned out. So we need a better job of that. You know he’s playing a spot at slot where pretty much everybody I’ve had in my offense that I’ve coached has good numbers to big numbers. It just hasn’t happened the first two weeks. In that spot that’s kind of the focus of our offense, that slot position a lot. I think it’s just a matter of time that the ball finds him in our normal offense and we’ll design whatever we need to make sure he’s a part of what we’re doing.”

On helping to develop more swagger or edge on offense

“Not yet. Not yet, and there’s no reason that this group shouldn’t. Part of that is what I’m saying about the whole team. We’ve got to have a little more success. Let that lead to confidence, let that lead to more success, let that lead to more confidence. Gosh, in both our first games we’ve moved the ball well enough that if we capitalize, we get some things rolling. It’s easier to move a rock downhill than uphill. We’ve got to finish drives. You know one thing, we need to make some more big plays, more explosive plays. Too many of our explosive plays have come from quarterback runs. We need to create some runs with running backs. We need to create some plays downfield. It’s hard to sustain and make 12-play drives go because one thing can go wrong or the defense can make a play. So we’ve got to create some more big plays. We’ve got the guys in the program now that I think are capable of doing that and we just need some good things to happen to get that momentum and get rolling.”

On having Zavier Betts and Marcus Fleming on the field late in the game

“That was the plan all along. The issue was, and that kind of hurt our tempo a little bit, I don’t think they were probably ready to run every play in our game plan. So then it came down to running certain plays with certain guys on the field and certain plays with certain other guys on the field. We are going to be a really good team when all of our guys are capable of running the whole thing. Then we don’t have to substitute. We can have the best guys on the field all the time, whoever that is. But again, because of some factors those guys aren’t quite ready to digest and handle the whole game plan yet, and we’re working to get there.”

On the running backs

“Ronald (Thompkins) had missed a few practices and so he wasn’t available in the game really to us. Marvin (Scott), you know we talk about competition at the position and we thought going into that game that Marvin had probably practiced the best and we rewarded him. I was impressed with him in his first few carries. He ran the ball hard. He did a good job on some plays away from the ball, and that is going to continue to be a competition.”

On whether Nebraska has a home-field advantage on Saturday

“Yeah, but probably not like normal. Gosh it would be nice to have our fans in there and creating a bigger advantage for us. It’s always easier to play where you’re familiar and not travel and do all those things. But certainly not the same as having Husker faithful in there and a Sea of Red and giving us enthusiasm and noise. Not a normal home field advantage in my opinion, but it is just crazy that we are well into November and going to play our first home game. So we are just anxious to be in Memorial Stadium.”

On Nebraska’s energy on the sideline at Northwestern

“I thought it was good, maybe not quite where I want it yet. But again, success kind of breeds enthusiasm and enthusiasm breeds success. We’re fighting through a lot of things here, but we’ve got to get over the top and get this thing rolling. This will be certainly a tough opponent this week, despite their record, to make that happen, but the guys are anxious for it to happen and so are we.”

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