Friday Flakes: One Underappreciated Improvement Expected for 2020 Football Season

You know what would be a nightmare for a head football coach at a power five level? A fourth and five from the opponents 25 yard line and thinking you might have to go for it because you have zero confidence in your field goal kicker.

Then think about not having confidence in SIX FIELD GOAL KICKERS, which is what Scott Frost went though in 2019. That is so bad.

If there is one guaranteed improvement from the Nebraska football program it will be from the special teams.

Frost went out and hired away Auburn’s special teams analyst, Jonathan Rutledge. They also got a kicker transfer from LSU in Connor Culp who is battling for the starting kicker position with freshman Tyson Crawford.

Do we know if they are going to be any good? Nope. However, you would have to think that the kicking situation is going to be an improvement in some form or fashion in 2020. Frost said that they did a study on the lost hidden yardage from the poor performance from the special teams in 2019 and it was “revealing.”


Buying in bulk: Nebraska’s breakthough starts with streamlined O-line play – The Athletic ($)
This season, Nebraska returns five starters with 106 career starts on the offensive line, which was built to be the one to turn the corner.

Frost wants physical practices; offers Husker roster thoughts
Scott Frost’s team is practicing in a silent Memorial Stadium these days, with no music or noise being pumped in. They’re “bringing their own juice” as Husker coaches have gotten to describing it, getting ready for gamedays without fans.

They’re also bringing the hits.

What This HEAT Thing Is All About by Gary Payton – The Player’s Tribune
So y’all wanna know what this Heat Culture about, huh?

Alright, I’ll tell you a story.

Frost Offers Position-by-Position Updates on Monthly Radio Show | Hail Varsity
The last play anyone saw from Nebraska football—more than 10 months ago now—was a fumble. It didn’t much matter at that specific point. Iowa had already taken a 27-24 lead with just 1 second left. The Huskers’ only hope was a kickoff return, but the kickoff was fumbled and that was that. No bowl, no more football.

Bills players may not get paid if Titans forfeit in Week 5 due to NFL’s coronavirus rules
While getting a free win thanks to a forfeit sounds like a sweet deal for the Bills, it would come with an odious side effect for Bills players. If the NFL makes the Titans forfeit the contest, neither team would be paid. That’s a new wrinkle under the league’s “revised COVID-19 terms,” according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

Report: Dwayne Haskins’ poor study and practice habits led to his benching
Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins was benched on Wednesday in part due to poor practice and study habits, a source familiar with the situation told Les Carpenter of the Washington Post.

USC’s Dying Linebackers—Not So Much a Mystery – Sports Illustrated
None of them died on the field, but for each former Trojan, football was inextricably tied to mortality. These are their stories.

Before plants or animals existed, this 250,000-ton rock fell in the mud. Here’s how we know
Generations of scientists have visited this ancient landscape, and now they may have discovered the oldest rockfall yet found on land.

Rapid Reaction: Verduzco defers to Frost on key QB question; Held wants Mills to be ‘bell cow’ | Football |
Nebraska quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco essentially side-stepped a question on a lot of Husker fans’ minds Thursday.

At Nebraska, ‘the best quarterback is going to play. Period’ | Football |
How is Nebraska’s quarterback competition shaping up with two weeks until the season opener? Quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco and his two main contenders chose their words carefully.

Kansas Jayhawks football coach Les Miles tests positive for COVID-19
Kansas Jayhawks coach Les Miles has tested positive for COVID-19, the university announced Thursday.

Takeaways from Husker Zoom Thursday: Cubes and bell cows
We know the Huskers are hitting quite a bit, a scrimmage awaits on Saturday, and Mario Verduzco can make a Husker mask look as if it’s a stylish ascot during a Zoom call.

“Sharp as a tack” Smothers keeps good schedule to help if needed
The best plans of 2020 recruiting class signees could not account for a pandemic that was going to destroy the spring season they wanted to participate in.

Logan Smothers enrolled early expecting to load up on some spring reps, bolstering his opportunity to jump into the competition sooner. At first glance, with those practices lost, it seems like his chances of playing right away might have flown out the window too.

McCaffrey flinging it around well after useful offseason
Remember in junior high when some math books had the answers to the odd-numbered questions in the back? Yeah, me neither.

Adrian Martinez ‘Here for the Competition’ Between Husker QBs | Hail Varsity
If you were hoping for some additional clarity on whether or not Adrian Martinez and Luke McCaffrey will split reps in 2020, you didn’t get that on Thursday. We already know Martinez has an edge in the competition—at least offensive coordinator Matt Lubick said so previously—but that doesn’t mean McCaffrey won’t see some time this season too.


The Best Things I Saw On The Internet This Week

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The famous grizzly bear 791 has been milking the spotlight this week. After a viral video of him taking down a 6-6 bull elk in the Yellowstone River, he has sun bathed for the last 5 days to view of hundreds of photographers and tourists. I was very fortunate on this particularly morning for several reasons. The first being that the weather wasn’t terribly cold (about freezing), we had a gorgeous sunrise, the river fog was light and low( unlike the day before when it didn’t clear until late morning), and of course, because we had a close encounter with a grey wolf. The wolf was alone and therefore not much of a threat to the massive grizzly. It was more of a game to him to see how close the dominating bear would let him get to his kill. To my surprise, as proven by this image, he let him get very close. The wolf would slowly approach, the bear would make a slight shift in position, and the wolf would back off for awhile. This cycle occurred 4 times in my watching. #grizzly #grizzlybear #wildlifephotography #wildlife #yellowstonenps #yellowstonenationalpark #yellowstoneforever #grandtetonnationalpark #grandtetons #outdoors #keepitwild #wyomingwildlife #visitwyoming #visitmontana #montanagram #montanamoment #discoverwyoming #dontpokethebear #wolf #greywolf #nature #wilderness #wild #nationalparks #natgeowild

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