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Nebraska’s head-scratching onside kick proves costly for Scott Frost in loss to Northwestern

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Northwestern
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Already entering the 2022 season on one of the hottest seats in college football, Nebraska coach Scott Frost didn’t earn himself any goodwill with his decision-making during the second half of a 31-28 loss to Northwestern at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. 

Trailing 17-14 at halftime, the Cornhuskers stormed out of the gate with two touchdowns in the first six minutes of the third quarter to build a 28-17 lead. What happened next, though, changed the tone of the game for good. Presumably going for the jugular, Frost opted for what could only be described as a head-scratching onside kick to try to catch the Wildcats off guard. 

It didn’t work. Huskers kicker Brendan Franke tapped a ground ball that was immediately recovered by Northwestern, giving Pat Fitzgerald’s team new life after looking completely overwhelmed coming out of the locker room. Running back Cam Porter punched it in from three yards out on the fifth play of the ensuing drive to make it a one-score game. 

Those three words — “one-score game” — might as well be considered an offensive phrase in Lincoln. Though Nebraska had its chances to come away with a win, it couldn’t capitalize on those opportunities. Northwestern scored the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter to retake a lead that it wouldn’t surrender, ultimately pushing Frost’s record at Nebraska to 5-21 in one-score games. 

“If I had it over, I wouldn’t make the call,” said Frost of the onside kick

We’ve seen a tarmac firing in college football when USC let go of Lane Kiffin in 2013 following a loss to Arizona State. We won’t see an Irish Goodbye from Frost, who told reporters he is not considering stepping down, but his decision-making late in games has been horrendous throughout his career at his alma mater. Those Nebraska ties only go so far before members of the administration start looking elsewhere.



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