DUBLIN — — Scott Frost isn’t calling performs on offense this season.
Nevertheless, the embattled Nebraska coach nonetheless made the most important resolution in Saturday’s 31-28 loss to Northwestern in Eire.
He ordered an onside kick and it did not work. Now, he’s dealing with much more strain with Nebraska’s dropping streak at seven video games.
“You’ve got to win in this business to keep your job,” mentioned Frost, who’s in his fifth yr on the helm. “That’s the way it is. I love the state of Nebraska. I love these fans that sacrificed to come over here. We’ve got to get this turned around.”
Ryan Hilinski threw for 314 yards and two touchdowns to assist Northwestern rally to a victory within the season opener earlier than 42,699 followers at Aviva Stadium within the Irish capital.
Frost took the blame for a failed onside kick that modified the momentum of the sport within the third quarter.
“I made that call so that’s on me,” Frost mentioned of the choice after the Huskers took a 28-17 lead. “At that point in the game, I thought all the momentum was on our side. I thought if we got it, we could end the game.
“You can’t really foresee them scoring 14 straight and us sputtering after we played well to start the second half on offense. Again those are excuses. If I had (to do) it over, I wouldn’t make the call.”
The Wildcats finished with 528 yards and gained a measure of revenge after their humiliating 56-7 loss to the Huskers last October. Nebraska hasn’t won since then.
Following a 3-9 season, Nebraska was looking to bounce back with a revamped offense under new coordinator Mark Whipple — who took over play-calling duties from Frost — but the team and its many fans who made the trip are headed home disappointed.
Quarterback Casey Thompson had a big game in his Huskers debut, throwing for 355 yards, but a fourth-quarter mistake was costly. Cameron Mitchell intercepted Thompson’s pass and returned it almost 40 yards. Six plays later, Evan Hull ran it in from the 4 to give the Wildcats a 31-28 lead. Hull finished with 22 carries for 119 yards.
Xander Mueller picked off a pass that bounced off receiver Wyatt Liewer’s hands with 1:27 to play and the Wildcats sealed the win.
Anthony Grant rushed for two third-quarter scores, including a 46-yarder to put the Huskers ahead 28-17. He ran it in from 3 yards on the previous drive to get Nebraska in front after the Wildcats went into halftime with a 17-14 lead. Grant had 19 carries for 101 yards.
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald called the onside kick “a huge momentum swing” in the game.
“We went down and punched it in,” he said of Cam Porter’s 3-yard touchdown run on a direct snap to close the gap to 28-24.
Nebraska still led at that point, Frost pointed out.
“You don’t win a lot of games in the Big Ten giving up 31, so we have some things to answer on defense,” he said.
The Huskers had built a 14-3 lead after Thompson threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to fellow transfer Isaiah Garcia-Castaneda and then punched it in from 1 early in the second quarter. Garcia-Castaneda finished with 120 yards on four receptions.
But Hilinski capped a terrific first half by finding Donny Navarro at the back of the end zone for a 6-yard scoring strike to give the Wildcats a 17-14 lead with 25 seconds left in the half.
Earlier, Hilinski hit a wide-open Raymond Niro III on a play-action pass for a 41-yard score.
After Niro’s touchdown, Nebraska was driving again when linebacker Greyson Metz ripped the ball from Garcia-Castaneda after a 24-yard completion to the Northwestern 11- yard line.
ALL ABOUT WINNING
Frost said he wouldn’t consider stepping down: “Absolutely not. … I’m going to fight with the guys, as long as I can fight.” His document as Nebraska’s coach is now 15-30.
Hilinski credited the offensive line with defending him — he wasn’t sacked.
“After I can sit again there and be affected person with the ball, and see the sector, as a quarterback, that’s the finest feeling,” he said. “In the present day, I felt so calm within the pocket. I felt like I might see the entire area.”
Northwestern: The Wildcats look as in the event that they’ve discovered a quarterback in Hilinski, who accomplished 27 of 38 passes.
Nebraska: Extra questions for Frost. The Huskers misplaced all their video games by single digits final season, and now one other one. Regardless of the 2 interceptions, Thompson made large performs. On their first scoring drive of the third quarter, he scrambled left on a third-and-8 and heaved a cross to Garcia-Castaneda for a 58-yard achieve.
Concession stands gave out free beer at one level in the course of the sport once they misplaced the web connection on the stadium. Aviva Stadium is cashless, so that they opted to not flip away thirsty followers. Ronan McGowan mentioned he waited 40 minutes in lengthy strains and missed parts of the sport, although added: “They did the right thing.”
Nebraska hosts North Dakota on Saturday within the first of 4 consecutive residence video games, together with a matchup with Oklahoma on Sept. 17.
Northwestern is off subsequent weekend and hosts Duke on Sept. 10 within the first of three straight video games at Ryan Discipline.