Sunday, I thought I was in the minority with my feelings of dread after the 25-7 result against Maine. However, after seeing and hearing potshots over national and local radio, plus reading criticism from Sports Illustrated (Stuart Mandel: "Nebraska still doesn't know what it's doing on offense"), perhaps I've been fairly balanced.
True, some of Zac Taylor's problems can be attributed to drops by receivers. But even if those drops had been completions, Taylor would have only ended up with numbers similar or worse than Joe Dailey had against similar competition last year (Western Illinois: 15 for 30, 4 ints, 4 TD passes, 218 yards; Baylor: 13 for 20, 0 ints, 5 TDs, 342 yards). Yes, it was Zac's first start. But last year was Joe's first start as well.
I still don't like Bill Callahan's comments that "hey, it's a win" and "openers are tough". Contrast that to Dan McCarney, who is honest enough to admit that Iowa State didn't play well against a 1-AA team: "All of us were reaching for motion sickness bags. We were about to puke. It made you want to vomit." Personally, Callahan is starting to sound like he has embraced the "spirit of mediocrity".
Another head scratcher is Jay Norvell's comments about throwing 3 passes on 1st and goal from the 2 yard line: Time was a concern, offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said Saturday. You don't want to run the ball, then have to spike it to kill the clock. Uh Jay, there was about 80 seconds left when you had the ball on the 2 yard line. With a 25 second play clock, you should have easily been able to run 3 running plays with that much time. In fact, nobody said you had to run the ball 3 times either. With everybody that close to the line of scrimmage, just get off the pile and line up again.
Bottom line is my confidence level in this coaching staff continues to fall. They are great recruiters, but when it comes to the game of football, there seems to be something missing here.