Scott Frost played quarterback at Nebraska, so the Huskers’ third-year coach says he can relate to Nebraska’s signal-callers when they are doubted by fans.
Now, though, some of the grumbling from the fan base is directed at another player who touches the ball on every play.
It’s at the center spot where Cameron Jurgens has at times had issues getting a good snap to the quarterback. That has created some plays that are doomed from the start or have resulted in big losses. And some of those issues have taken Nebraska out of scoring position.
In Nebraska’s 26-20 loss against Iowa on Saturday in Iowa City, Iowa, there were about five bad snaps, and Jurgens was briefly benched at the end of the first half. Jurgens played in the second half and had fewer issues.
But on Nebraska’s first drive there were two bad snaps, including one that resulted in a 10-yard loss. Nebraska had to punt to start the game.
In the second quarter there was a snap that came out low near quarterback Adrian Martinez’s shin. And Martinez wasn’t ready for the snap to begin with.
At the end of the second quarter, Jurgens had another snap that sailed high. At that point Jurgens got pulled and Matt Farniok moved to center.
Frost has praised Jurgens throughout the season, and that was the case again on Saturday. Jurgens has been playing through the pain of a foot injury, and that may be making it hard for him in some ways.
But Frost said the problem on the snaps in Nebraska’s shotgun formation was Jurgens snapping before the QB was ready because of Iowa’s sideline making sounds to try and confuse Jurgens.
“The issue with snaps today, I don’t think had anything to do with (Jurgen’s) technique,” Frost said. “There was clapping going on on their sideline, and Cam heard that clap and thought it was the quarterback clapping. We discussed it with the officials, and it didn’t happen in the second half.”
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz was asked about that topic after the game, and seemed to think it was silly. He did not clearly acknowledge or deny any clapping from his players on sideline.
"The officials said something to me about that at halftime,” Ferentz. “So we told our sideline, the coaches — I don't know if the players were clapping — told them though, and the next thing I know, one of my headset's off … you don't pay attention, but all of the sudden I see (assistant strength coach) Cody (Myers) and (special teams coach) LeVar (Woods) like, 'Hey, let's go guys,' and then I caught myself doing it, like, 'Good job, let's go.'
“So what the hell are we talking about? It's stupid, right? I do know this, I saw across the field, they have a little clap routine for third downs or something, I don't know. This is stuff .... this is my 22nd year, I'm never even thinking about that. It's football, so maybe they need to change their cadence if it was interfering with the cadence. I don't know. I've never heard of that. Never heard of that. Now if a player on the field was doing it … I get that, but what are we talking about?"
Iowa had three sacks in the game for losses of 20 yards.
Frost didn’t criticize the Husker offensive line.
“I think they’re playing pretty well, especially considering we got Cam Jurgens at center that’s been an O-linemen for two years, and Ethan Piper is a (redshirt) freshman and Bryce Benhart is a (redshirt) freshman,” Frost said.