Nebraska coach Bo Pelini is already taking plenty of heat from the fanbase after Saturday’s loss to UCLA. But the criticism isn’t coming just from the fans, as former Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier chimed in with his thoughts on Twitter.
Before we take a look at the comments, let’s get this out of the way: What Frazier says doesn’t have an impact on Pelini’s job status or how the program should be viewed nationally. However, it does reflect poorly on Pelini with his comments about a program legend (see below) and represents the growing disconnect between the coaching staff and fans.
Nebraska’s defense allowed 115 points in the final two games of 2012, gave up 34 to Wyoming and 41 to UCLA. Against the Bruins, the Cornhuskers allowed an average of 6.5 yards per play and forced only one turnover. After three games, Nebraska ranks 11th in the Big Ten in total defense and last in scoring defense.
Pelini was regarded as one of the nation’s top defensive minds prior to his arrival at Nebraska. Considering the Cornhuskers finished seventh in the Big Ten in total defense last year and is off to another bad start in 2013, there’s good reason to be concerned about the direction of the team. Sure, there are a handful of young players in the mix on defense, but this team was badly outcoached in the second half against UCLA.
While there’s been plenty of bad feelings in Lincoln, Neb. after Saturday’s loss to UCLA, the upcoming schedule is very favorable. The Cornhuskers could be 6-1 heading into November, which includes games against Northwestern, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State.
There are high expectations at Nebraska, but Pelini has not won fewer than nine games in each of his five seasons. However, Pelini led the Cornhuskers to a spot in the Big Ten Championship last year, and Nebraska won or tied for the Big 12 North title from 2008-10.
Should there be concern over Pelini and the direction of this program? Absolutely. But let’s give Pelini and his staff some time to develop the young players on defense and judge this program after its November stretch.
Here's the full text from Tommie Frazier's tweet on Saturday:
After letting it sink in for about 4 hours I still struggling. It's time to get rid of the defensive play caller, the Dc, lb dl and db coaches. I hate saying this but this crap is getting old. How in the hell do you not make adjustments or put your players in the position to compete? If this is what is going to happen for the remainder of the season, count me out. I don't care if we lose a game but the way we are losing is just not what #Nebraska fans deserve. I have fought, bled, and cried over this program. I didn't do all that for the program to become what it has today. Time for change! I will comment about the offense this week on Tommie's X's and O's. Trust me you don't want to miss it. #Huskers
So this was Pelini's response on Monday:
Pelini, on Tommie Frazier's call for defensive firings: "If he feels like that, so be it. We don't need him."— Rittenberg/Bennett (@ESPN_BigTen) September 16, 2013
He's right, he doesn't need me. I'm not the answer but he needs someone to help define success for this program. Nebraska fans deserve more.— Tommie Frazier (@TouchdownTommie) September 16, 2013