Nebraska vs. Minnesota, 10.12

Nebraska quarterback Noah Vedral passes in the fourth quarter against Minnesota on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Nebraska experienced its share of significant problems in last week's 34-7 loss at Minnesota.

Quarterback Noah Vedral wasn't among them.

"I thought Noah did pretty well," Husker coach Scott Frost said Thursday night on the Husker Sports Network. "You're never going to throw it perfectly, do everything perfectly. There are probably one or two throws he could've made better. I thought he ran hard, thought he made good decisions, graded out really well.

"He did really well for his first start. We didn't do well enough around him."

A 6-foot-1, 200-pound sophomore from Wahoo, Vedral completed 14 of 23 passes for 135 yards while rushing for 49 yards on 15 carries. With the loss, Nebraska dropped to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the Big Ten.

With a bye this week, the Huskers have a chance to get some key players healed up, including quarterback Adrian Martinez, who started the first six games of the season. He sat out last week's game with a knee injury as his teammates fell behind 14-0 at halftime and never seriously threatened in the second half.

"I think there's a portion of our team that was ready for that game and went out and played physically and did their jobs," Frost said. "There's another portion that wasn't ready to play in that type of game."

Nevertheless, Frost expressed confidence in the team's captains and leadership in general, although he stopped short of saying Nebraska is ready for a leadership council like the one the Huskers had in his playing days in the mid-1990s.

He said Nebraska's quarterbacks are good leaders.

"One of the keys is, it's hard to be a leader if guys don't want to follow," the coach said. "The majority of our team does, but maybe not everybody. The leaders need to continue to improve and we need good teammates, not just good leaders."

Nebraska practiced Tuesday and Wednesday and will have another practice Friday. Frost said the focus is on fundamentals. Staying on blocks longer. Blocking better on the perimeter. Tackling better.

"We're kind of trying to run our base stuff and making sure we can be a little bit more reliable and count on it," Frost said.

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He said right after the game he thought his team got "pushed around" by Minnesota, but since has changed his tune.

"Really we didn't get pushed around on either line," he said. "We expected some guys in some run fits on defense who didn't show up and weren't there. That led to a huge piece of their rushing yardage. And there were two guys who completely took their eyes off coverage and that led to two long passes on defense ... that was probably 250 of their (450) total yards, just off those mistakes."

As is typically the case when Frost appears on the program, he took calls from fans. A few expressed support in the wake of a three-game stretch in which Nebraska twice has been blown out. The Huskers' season has been largely defined by inconsistency in all three main areas -- offense, defense and special teams.

"When things aren't going as well as you want them to, you start questioning everything," Frost said. "Usually as a coach, you want to question and keep improving, but doubting and changing what you do is usually the worst thing you can do. We know our schemes on both sides work. They've worked for a long time.

"We have to get better at them. We have to keep recruiting better players to run them. We love the guys on our team. We're going to keep coaching them and trying to sacrifice of ourselves to make them as good as they can be. I appreciate the support. Nobody wants it to work more than us."

* Frost said he likes the young defensive linemen on the roster, but made clear that replacing senior starters Carlos Davis, Khalil Davis and Darrion Daniels will be a challenge.

"I think that's the one position where I don't feel like we might be better than we are this year. But you never know with these young guys ..."

* Frost seemed somewhat perplexed by the bad footing Nebraska experienced on a wet surface at Minnesota.

"It seems like we fell down a few more times than they did," he said.

* The coach shed light on why Nebraska isn't making more frequent use of the I-formation and double-wing looks it showed briefly against Ohio State, with success during an otherwise awful night.

"To really run it, you have to commit to it. You have to have some answers and different plays depending on how the defense is lined up. It kind of has to be a full-on dive into it if you're really going to rely on it."

Reach the writer at 402-473-7440 or ssipple@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraSip.


Husker columnist

Steven, a lifelong Nebraskan, newspaper enthusiast and UNL grad, joined the Journal Star in 1990 and has covered NU football since 1995.

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