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Nebraska football coach Scott Frost accepts responsibility for failed onside kick after upset loss to Northwestern

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Nebraska coach Scott Frost accepted responsibility for a controversial onside kick decision in Saturday’s season-opening loss to Northwestern, while acknowledging he needs to do more to retain his work.

Frost made the call to attempt an onside kick as Nebraska led 28-17 midway through the third quarter in a game being played in Dublin. Northwestern easily recovered the kick on Nebraska’s 44-yard line and scored five plays later. The Wildcats outscored Nebraska 14-0 in the 24:37 Final to win 31-28 at Aviva Stadium.

Nebraska became the first major conference team in the AP Poll era, which dates back to 1936, to lose seven straight single-digit games, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

“I made that call, so it’s on me,” Frost said. “At that point in the game, I felt that all the momentum was on our side. I thought if we [recovered] that, we could win the game. …I felt like we were maybe the best team. You can’t really predict that they will score 14 in a row and we will spit after playing well to start the second half in attack.

“Those are excuses. If I was done, I wouldn’t have called.”

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said recovering the onside kick gave his team momentum. According to ESPN Stats & Information, only two FBS teams leading by 10 or more points in the second half attempted an onside kick last season.

Special teams contributed to Nebraska’s struggles under Frost, which fell to 15-30 in its alma mater and 5-21 in one-scored games.

“We just lost too many close games,” Frost said on Saturday. “These guys need to believe in something. We need to believe in ourselves as a team. I think they do.”

In November, Nebraska announced that Frost would return for 2022 but with a restructured contract, which cut his salary by $1 million and reduced his layoff guarantee from $15 million to $7.5 million. Frost also had to revamp his offensive staff, bringing in the new coordinator and calling in Mark Whipple and others.

Frost is under contract until the 2026 season.

“You have to win in this business to keep your job, that’s how it is,” Frost said. “I love Nebraska, I love the state of Nebraska, I love those fans who made the sacrifice of come here. “

A Nebraska native and former national championship-winning Huskers quarterback, Frost returned to his alma mater in 2018 to much fanfare. He led UCF to a 13-0 record in 2017.

Frost is under increased pressure after Saturday’s loss but won’t consider retiring if things don’t improve soon. Nebraska hosts FCS opponent North Dakota next week.

“No, absolutely not,” Frost said of a potential resignation. “I love Nebraska. I’m going to fight guys, as long as I can fight.”