Running up the score has been a charge that's been leveled at Nebraska for years. Sometimes it couldn't be helped, such as when Nebraska put 84 up on Minnesota when third string quarterback Craig Sundberg couldn't be contained by the hapless Gophers in the Metrodome. Other times, it's been a valid charge, such as when Matt Turman threw a touchdown pass late against Arizona State in 1995, or the 2000 Alamo Bowl where Bobby Newcombe threw deep to Matt Davison with the Huskers up huge.
But never was it so flagrant as Saturday when Bill Callahan had Joe Ganz throwing two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, then had Marlon Lucky score the final touchdown with four minutes left in the game to go up 73-24. The starting I-back is still in the game, scoring a touchdown to take a 49 point lead with just a few minutes to play. Three fourth quarter touchdowns scored by starters in a blowout... not cool... And yes, hopefully the final entry in the Bill Callahan "Call of Shame".
Some could argue that this team deserved and needed a big victory... which is true. But the big victory was already attained. Keeping starters took reps away from younger players who certainly could use the playing time. It also exposed those players to potential injury, especially if someone on the defense took particular offense.
Ron Prince didn't take offense at Callahan's stunt, at least not publicly. It's his job to stop it, and the Wildcats were unable to do it yesterday. But just because the Huskers could do it doesn't make it right. It was a middle finger salute to Kansas State as well as his critics. And it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of fans who, while elated to see the Huskers play well for the first time in two months, recognize that what Callahan did was in poor sportsmanship.
Even in victory, Bill Callahan came off as a loser on Saturday.