LINCOLN, Neb. — The Nebraska football team practiced for just over two hours on Friday at Memorial Stadium in full pads and helmets. The workout was highlighted by a scrimmage and the presence of nearly 150 former players who attended practice.
Head Coach Scott Frost addressed the media after practice, commenting on the significance of practicing in Memorial Stadium.
“One thing I want to see our team keep doing is when they hit the turf in Memorial Stadium, I want to see juice,” Frost said. “It’s on when you hit the turf and it should mean more when you are out there. Sometimes it’s tough to get that juice when you are practicing for two weeks and we’re scrimmaging right after three straight days of practice and walk-throughs, but I want to see more energy right away when the guys hit the field.”
Frost also gave an update on the quarterback race and mentioned how the unit has developed.
“We’re kind of down to a two-horse race,” Frost said. “Andrew Bunch has done some great things, but it’s kind of down to [Tristan] Gebbia and [Adrian] Martinez now. They take turns having really good days and both of them continue to get better, both are operating the offense well, and we’re going to continue to let it play out from here forward.”
Frost talked about his preference on a one-quarterback system but praised the performance of both contenders for the starting spot.
“When I was a quarterback, and if you were to take me off the field for half of the series, I wouldn’t have felt comfortable out there and like I was in a rhythm,” Frost said. “That being said, right now, if we had to play a game today, both guys deserve to play. I know even when I was in school, Coach [Tom] Osborne wanted to intentionally give the next guy reps, because you’re always going to need a second quarterback. I’d prefer if it was one guy, but if we need to play the other one a little bit to get him ready, we will.”
Frost also touched on how his defense has been improving in the last few practices.
“Our defense has been pretty good at stopping the run,” Frost said. “It’s been great to watch the last three practices before the scrimmage, because when the offense executes right, they get the best of the defense and on other plays it doesn’t get out of the backfield. So, I think it’s been a give-and-take, and that’s what you want when both sides are improving.”
After two weeks of fall camp, Frost has observed great improvement on his team overall and is eager to see it in action.
“I know we’re better,” Frost said. “We’re a lot better than we were at the end of spring, we’re miles ahead of where we were in January. Now, how much we caught up to some of the other teams that we’re going to play this year I don’t know, and I won’t know that until we get on the field and get an opportunity to compete and see where we are. I know we’ve made a ton of progress, and I can’t wait to test it out.”
Frost also talked about the walk-on class this year, showing excitement with the possibility of awarding scholarships to walk-on players.
“I can’t wait to put my first walk-on on a scholarship,” Frost said. “It’s going to be a happy day for me when I see that come to fruition and see how walk-ons take the next step, but we’re not going to hand them out. Guys are going to have to earn them, they are going to have to be on the field, they have to do things the right way and represent Nebraska the right way. We’ll see if we have any coming up right away in fall, but I expect some of these guys to get there sooner or later.”
Nebraska kicks off its season on Saturday, Sept. 1 against Akron at Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. CT.