Offensively, Nebraska punched the ball through the Huskies' line like a pill through foil packaging. Frost played flawlessly before a crowd that included his parents, Nebraska alumni Carol (a former Huskers track star and coach) and Larry (a former Huskers halfback), and his older brother, Steve. On defense the Huskers played as Peter had hoped they eventually would this season. Which is to say, "Eleven men on every ball, like a pack of crazed dogs."
Peter spoke, too, of the media's peculiar fascination with Nebraska, the need to rip not only the Cornhuskers but also the state. "I laugh at the Nebraska jokes," Peter said of one Seattle columnist's hatchet job, which had been reprinted in the Lincoln Journal Star. "They settle me down. They're entertaining. But when people say that Coach Osborne will do anything to win and that all his players are criminals, that bothers me." (Jason's brother Christian, a Cornhuskers star in '94 and '95, was convicted of third-degree sexual assault while at Nebraska and suspended from the team.)
The truth is, these Huskers have endured a mere three arrests in the past 18 months. Another truth is that of late, the Cornhuskers' biggest critics have been the so-called Nebraska faithful. "Some people are going to have to eat their words about our offense," defensive end Grant Wistrom said after the Huskers rushed for 407 yards and 23 first downs last Saturday against a defense that had held its first two opponents—BYU and San Diego State—to a rather stingy total of minus-five yards on the ground. "Especially some of our fans."
Roughly 10,000 Nebraska supporters made the trip to Seattle, and countless new fans and friends would no doubt await Frost back in Lincoln. "I really don't care," he said when that was put to him after the game. "The friends I want—and the friends I have—have been my friends through everything."
Moments later he made for the exit. On this day Frost was hatless, and when he stepped into the sunshine, a red sea of Cornhuskers fans crowded against a barricade to reach for his hand. "Way to go, Scott!" several people shouted, but Frost never reached out to any of them, never looked up, never broke stride. He didn't acknowledge a single cheering fan among the 100 or so who lined the path to the team bus. He just kept walking, briskly, until he reached his family, which silently engulfed him in an embrace.