Nebraska will have a little less experience in its linebacking corps as the Cornhuskers close out a second straight disappointing season under head coach Scott Frost, who is NOT on the hot seat.
Following up on speculation that began surfacing Friday, Nebraska has confirmed that Tyrin Ferguson has been dismissed from Frost’s football program. Other than unspecified violations of team rules, no reason for the forced departure was given.
Coming out of high school in New Orleans, Ferguson was a three-star member of NU’s 2015 recruiting class.
After playing in 10 games as a true freshman, Ferguson took a redshirt in 2016. He played in five games in 2017, then started four of the eight games in which he played this past season.
In six games this season, Ferguson had been credited with four tackles, two of which went for a loss.
Amidst a second straight rough season under Scott Frost, Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos this week called for patience when it comes to the direction of the football program, saying in part that the head coach needs three to four MORE recruiting classes to get the Cornhuskers back to where they want to be. Saturday morning, the university puts some deeds — and money — behind Moos’ words.
In a press release, NU announced that it has reached an agreement on a two-year contract extension with Frost. The school stated that the original terms of Frost’s contact will remain intact, with the extension running from December 31, 2024, to December 31, 2026.
No financial particulars that are included in the extension were released.
Below is the statement credited to both Moos and UN-L chancellor Ronnie Green:
Two years ago, we had the tremendous opportunity to bring Scott Frost home to Nebraska to lead our football program into the future. We are even more committed to that decision today.
“Coach Frost has shown tremendous leadership in beginning to rebuild our football program. We appreciate that a change of this nature will not happen overnight. We are committed to Scott and the direction he is taking this program.
“Scott is the right coach at the right time for this program. We are excited for the heights to which he will take Nebraska football and the tremendous impact he will have in the development of our student-athletes.
Frost, who played his college football for the Cornhuskers, went 4-8 in his first season back home in Lincoln. Sitting at 4-5 this season, Nebraska, losers of three in a row entering Week 12, needs to win at least one of its last three games — today against Wisconsin, at Maryland, vs. Iowa — to avoid three straight seasons of four wins or less for the first time since a six-year stretch from 1956-61.
All good things, streaks in this particular case, must come to an end.
Saturday afternoon in South Bend, Notre Dame will play host to Navy in the 93rd renewal of their football rivalry. And, according to the South Bend Tribune, the game won’t be played in front of a sellout crowd at Notre Dame Stadium (capacity: 77,622), which is actually a startling development.
This weekend, you see, will mark the first time since Thanksgiving Day 1973 (vs. Air Force) that the Fighting Irish haven’t sold out a home football game, snapping a streak of 273 straight sellouts. Ahead of that streak being snapped, the Irish’s athletic director for the past dozen years, Jack Swarbrick, attempted to downplay the development.
From the Tribune:
It was never sort of important to me to keep it alive, but I understand why other people thought so. It’s a point of distinction to a lot of people and our fans.
“For me it’s always been: What’s the stadium environment like? Are we creating a great environment for our team and for our student-athletes? That you can say it’s also sold out is sort of a byproduct of that.
“But if my choice is (77,622) people in an environment that’s not really good versus 75,000 in a raucous environment, I’ll take the latter every time.
Notre Dame’s 237-game streak had been the second-longest active streak in college football behind Nebraska’s 373, which will move to 374 when Big Red hosts Wisconsin this weekend. The last time the Cornhuskers failed to sellout Memorial Stadium was during the 1962 season.
The field for the award that fetes the nation’s most versatile college football player has been whittled down significantly.
Earlier Thursday, the Louisville Sports Commission announced the four finalists for the 2019 Paul Hornung Award that have been chosen by the 17-member selection committee. And (surprise!), all four of the finalists come from Power Five conferences: Lynn Bowden Jr. (Kentucky), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (LSU), Joe Reed (Virginia) and Wan’Dale Robinson (Nebraska).
All four of the finalists come from the offensive side of the ball and have spent time as return specialists as well. Because of injuries at the position, Bowden, listed as a wide receiver to start the season, has started the last three games at quarterback for UK, with the Wildcats going 2-1 in that span.
Reed is primarily a wide receiver and Edwards-Helaire a running back, while Robinson has split his time between both positions.
The 2018 winner of the Hornung Award was Purdue’s Rondale Moore, who likely would’ve been given serious finalist consideration again this year if not for his season essentially being derailed by a lingering hamstring injury.
For all of the statistical particulars for each candidate, click HERE the award’s press release:
When you try to come up with the most disappointing teams in the country for the 2019 season, one program that is bound to find its way onto the list is undoubtedly Nebraska. The Cornhuskers started the year as a trendy pick to win the Big Ten West and were ranked in the top 25 preseason as a result.
Reality has turned into a different animal entirely however, as the team has struggled in nearly every game on the docket and currently need to win two of their last three just to make a bowl game after being upset by Purdue two weeks ago to fall to 4-5. Despite the issues in nearly every phase, NU athletic director Bill Moos is confident that the ship will eventually get righted and preached that things might take a bit longer than the fan base would like.
“We need to be patient and let these programs take their course, especially the most visible ones, because that’s how we’re being judged around the country,” Moos said on KLIN’s Sports Nightly, according to the Omaha World-Herald. “I’m here to tell you, I didn’t come in to Nebraska to finish in 8th and 9th place. We’ve got a project here, we got the right people in the right place, we got good leadership on campus, we have a lot of things going in our favor. And we need to be patient.”
Moos gave a little insight as to just how long that patience might take in also saying that he believes that head coach Scott Frost could need as many as “three to four more” recruiting classes to get the program turned around and back to where it wants to be.
That is… not exactly what the message was when the native son was brought back to Lincoln to restore his alma mater to glory nor was it what Frost himself was saying in the lead up to the 2019 season. The team’s on field play though, suggests they’re behind schedule in this rebuild and so maybe that estimate isn’t too far off — especially with fellow division foes like Minnesota rapidly turning into contenders.
Supporters of the Cornhuskers might not like to hear it but perhaps patience is indeed something that needs to be practiced as Big Red tries to get back in the black in 2019 and beyond.