Scott Frost, like most native Nebraskans, understands certain weather patterns in this state.
The wind calms at sunset. A sudden rush of cold air probably means hail has fallen nearby. Spring snows are wetter than January snows.
And when a thunderstorm rolls through, so, too, does a cold front.
Sure, sometimes another small pocket may follow, but, for the most part, the worst is behind.
Or, as Frost said, “You’re still going to have the fireworks on the Fourth of July.”
So naturally, Frost held out hope that Saturday night’s lightning and rain that sent players from Akron and Nebraska to their locker rooms only minutes after the opening kickoff wouldn’t be long-lasting.
For about 90 minutes, the Nebraska football coach, primed to make his long-awaited debut, remained antsy, eager to play after a delay that kept lengthening. Not for another hour after that did Frost, following dozens of peeks at the radar and plenty of consultation, finally accept the fact a football game might not happen Saturday night because of a stubborn, late-summer storm system.
“This one just seemed to be tracking right across Lancaster County,” Frost said, “and wouldn’t give up.”
Nobody in the bowels of Memorial Stadium, which had just displayed an electric “Tunnel Walk” grand entrance for a jazzed-up, sold out crowd, wanted to give up, either.
Frost counted six times he gathered his team during the three hours of uncertainty, each time with a different message.
1. Relax, but stay ready.
2. OK, take off your pads and shoes; this could be a while.
3. “I don’t know where this is going.”
4. We might not play tonight.
5. We might play Sunday.
5. Go home and to bed and be ready to play Sunday.
Then, en route to their homes, Nebraska players received a text message – the same message, at the same time, that everybody else did.
Nebraska and Akron would not play a game this weekend. Nebraska would open the Scott Frost era the following game, against Colorado, instead.
“Buzzkill, to say the least,” Nebraska captain and senior linebacker Luke Gifford said. “Everybody’s pumped, excited. To have that happen is pretty frustrating.”
Frost agreed, calling the events disappointing, what with all the buildup, all the work.
“We got all dressed up for nothing,” Frost said Monday at his weekly news conference.
More than anything, though, Frost was proud with how his team responded.