"We've got to protect the ball out there"
It's a simple quote from every college football coach. And you hear it every week before every game and it's part of the same set of comments that coaches release each week. So let's cut through the garbage and get to what coaches are really saying when it comes to the same coach-speak we get every week.
"We've got to protect the ball out there"
Translation: "Have you seen the way we've turned the ball over lately? My goodness. We fumble. We throw into double coverage. We cough it up at the goal line. We choke in pressure situations. Just protect the ball. It's that simple.
"We need to control the line of scrimmage"
Translation: "Let's be honest here. Does anyone really think our 5-11 285-pound center is about to block a 6-3 320 pound defensive tackle? Give me a break. We are going to lose that battle all day."
"We have to win all three phases of the game-offense, defense and special teams"
Translation: "We can't play well on offense and defense and then have some third string running back commit a block in the back to negate a great kick return like that kid I'd like to cut did last week"
"You have to win 50/50 balls"
Translation: "Look, it's not a push-off unless they call it. We need to do what we need to do. Grab a jersey. Get a shove in. Push off. Anything it takes to get the ball."
"We have to cut down on penalties"
Translation: "You saw how stupid we were last week. Holding. Pass interference. Personal fouls. We are so undisciplined it's ridiculous. And it's not coaching. It's on them."
"We have to pin our ears back and fly around out there"
Translation: I'm gonna be honest here. I have no idea what this means.
"We need our crowd to make some noise and make it a real home field advantage"
Translation: "Look, who cares what time your kid plays his soccer match or some flag-football game where you kid plays line. He plays line. Not quarterback or a position people care about. He plays line. Get in the car and get to the stadium and root for your team because your kid stinks."
"We have to play with intensity"
Translation: "Why do you think we have 11 strength and conditioning coaches on the sideline waving towels and jumping up and down before a kickoff looking ridiculous? Because we have to justify their high pay and we have nothing else for them to do during the game."
"Every game is equally important"
Translation: "How can I say this? No one cares about this opponent but I can't say that. I have to tell you how important this game is or that guy will take his kid to his flag-football game."
"We need to just find a way to get it done"
Translation: "I can't afford many more losses. I like money an insane amount of money and if we lose a few more I may need to go back to being a coordinator and I can't stand the thought of that."
"Our fans are the best"
Translation: "Most of our fans are the worst. What kind of person hangs out on message boards or tweets mean things towards my family? I can't stand most of our fans but I can't say that."
Notes: All of the love Nebraska fans have for the way Scott Frost represented them in the last 5-6 months can go out the window in 3-4 hours Saturday. Frost led the chant for Cornhusker Nation to play whether the Big Ten was moving forward or not in 2020. But if Frost and his team get rolled in Columbus at Ohio State, fans will quickly go back to questioning Frost and his ability of getting things back to the old days. Frost is 9-15 in his first two seasons in Lincoln. He is not getting fired regardless of his record this season. But whether it's fair or not, the Ohio State game is a measuring stick for his fan base. Nebraska doesn't need to beat the Buckeyes but needs to show like they can compete. But lose 56-21 and critics will replace cheerleaders in Nebraska...Syracuse is a 46-point underdog at Clemson Saturday. The over/under total is listed at 61.5. In a way, oddsmakers are telling you a 54-7 game is the projection...Remember when people were telling you Tennessee had the longest win streak in the SEC and the Vols had made the turn in coming back among the elite teams in the conference? Once Alabama wins in Knoxville, Tennessee will fall to 2-3 with games at Arkansas, home vs Texas A&M and at Auburn on the horizon...Pitt began the season 3-0 and was ranked. After losses against NC State, Boston College and Miami, the Panthers are now 3-3. They face Notre Dame Saturday and then have games at FSU and also face Virginia Tech and Clemson down the line. Ouch...Game time temperature for Michigan at Minnesota tomorrow night is 33. Welcome to the fall...
Final thought: Flamingos bend their legs at the ankle, not the knee