It’s been a rough start to the Scott Frost era at Nebraska, with the Huskers starting 0-2 with home losses to Colorado and Troy. And things got even worse Saturday with a 56-10 road thumping from No. 19 Michigan. That led to quite the quote afterwards from Frost.
Scott Frost: “I honestly believe this is going to be the bottom.” #huskers
— Sam McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) September 22, 2018
Well, you’d hope so, considering that the Huskers are now off to their worst start in 83 years:
Scott Frost hasn't gotten off to the start he would have liked at Nebraska.
Trailed 14-0 to Colorado
Trailed 17-0 to Troy
Currently trails 20-0 to Michigan
Nebraska hasn't started 0-3 since 1945. pic.twitter.com/xO2o5LHN1M
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 22, 2018
Of course, it should be noted that the Huskers had a season-opening game against Akron cancelled shortly after the opening kickoff thanks to storms in the Lincoln area (there are still arguments over who’s financially responsible for that), so their first three games have been tougher this year than in many seasons. Colorado’s a Power Five opponent, Michigan’s a conference opponent, and Troy’s one of the more formidable Group of Five teams, knocking off then-#25 LSU last year and winning the Sun Belt. And it’s also notable that there were plenty of issues in Lincoln before Frost took over, with predecessor Mike Riley going 4-8 in his final season. It also may take some time for Frost to implement the offense that made him so successful at UCF. But this start is still worse than many had hoped.
And this loss to Michigan was particularly bad. A road loss in Ann Arbor was probably expected considering how the Huskers had played to date, but a 46-point loss? At least it wasn’t quite record-setting:
Nebraska lost to Texas Tech by 60 points in 2004, their worst loss in program history.
Presented for no reason whatsoever.
— Zach M. (@ZHMGoBlue) September 22, 2018
This also came in a game where Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson threw for just 120 yards and a touchdown before he was relieved. Backup Dylan McCaffrey added 86 further passing yards and a touchdown, while third-stringer Brandon Peters had his only pass picked off. So Nebraska surrendered just over 200 yards through the air and still allowed 56 points.
A big part of that came on the ground, where Karan Higdon rushed 12 times for 136 yards and a touchdown and several other players chipped in. That gave the Wolverines 285 rushing yards on just 46 attempts, an average of 6.3 yards per carry. (By contrast, Nebraska rushed 30 times and only collected 39 yards, an average of 1.3 yards per rush.) But Michigan also capitalized on a fumble and an interception, and they held Nebraska quarterbacks Andrew Bunch and Adrian Martinez to a combined 93 passing yards with no touchdowns and a pick. So it was a no good, very bad day all around for the Huskers. We’ll see if they can rebound when they host Purdue next week, but with the Boilermakers coming off their own impressive win this week, that might not be all that easy either.