Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Few Final (Family Friendly) Thoughts about the USC Game

A few final thoughts on USC's blowout of Nebraska that I wanted to get out before we move on...
  • At least for one night, the Husker receivers put the dropsies behind them, catching nearly everything within reach while the game was still in doubt. Even Frantz Hardy had a nice catch while on the receiving end of a ferocious hit. One definite positive to take from Saturday night.
  • Callahan is now having Sam Keller run to the sidelines for each playcall, much like he had Joe Dailey do in 2004. Looks like this is on Callahan and the verbiage of his playcalling, not the quarterbacks.
  • Speaking of playcalls, my wife reported that during the ABC broadcast, cameras caught Sam Keller's father criticizing Callahan "for not getting the play called" after a timeout.
  • A lot of people are wondering where Quentin Castille was on Saturday night. Let's remember that under Callahan, freshmen I-backs are only in the game for plays they have mastered, which usually means they only enter the game for plays in which they are going to run the ball. Since Nebraska pretty much had to abandon the run, the opportunity for Castille to get into the game was abandoned as well. Not necessarily Castille's fault; most great running back prospects come to college for their running ability, not their blocking ability. But Castille's block on a second quarter kickoff sure gives you hope in the future that he'll pick it up well:
A lot of people have responded to Saturday night's game by pointing out that "we didn't REALLY expect to beat the #1 USC Trojans." They seem to be incredulous that people were surprised we lost. The surprise wasn't that we lost, it was that it was such a complete domination. It was 42-10 before Pete Carroll called off the dogs in the THIRD QUARTER. Some of them even take solace in the 3 4th quarter scores we made against the third and fourth string Trojans.

If that makes those people feel better, well, that's fine for them. Personally, I'm bothered by the size of some of the holes Saturday night...and that's even before you consider the lack of tackling we saw. It reminds me of another CozBohl defensive gem when Brad Smith made the Blackshirts disappear.

Darren over at BigRedNetwork decries the rush to fire Kevin Cosgrove after just three games into the season, though I'm not sure I see it quite that way. I personally think fans are just setting the expectation that unless the defense significantly improves by the end of the season, changes need to be made in the offseason. Changing coordinators in the middle of the season is a desperation move at best.

Over at Huskerpedia, the internet rumor mill has more gossip that questions Husker strength coach Dave Kennedy's training regimen, pointing out that USC now employs former Husker strength coach Bryan Bailey. And it's hard to argue with the results from Saturday night.

All in all, Tom Dienhart of The Sporting News probably summed it up best: "Welcome to Nebraska's Nightmare"


bigredfred said...

I have trouble with Nebraska paying someone from out of state twice as much (2 plus mill a year) as the last coach who spent 40 years with the program.

In particular, since Bill has a worse record than Frank, has the worst loss in NU history, and broke the consecutive bowl invitations record, and, has a worse won-loss record than anyone in half a century at NU.

Keep in mind, this coach did not succeed at his last head coaching job (and only other head coaching job), and, since he has made such blunders since coming here. EX: reprimanded for threatening an NCAA official on TV, giving away games with poor play calling (Auburn, Texas, both last year), threatening opposing fans. All stuff that we have beat to death really, but it still stinks.

I think people regret NU ever hiring Steve Pederson, ...giving up the option which got us to the national stage to begin with, ...and hiring the latest coach, who is probably better qualified to be a 'used car salesman'..

Husker Mike said...

Like it or not, Callahan is getting the market rate for a head coach. Tom Osborne couldn't care less about whether he earned $500K, $1 million, or $5 million a year, but I don't think it's reasonable to expect other coaches to share that same philosophy.

I also think you have to take Callahan's record with the Raiders with a grain of salt... they are the Raiders after all, run by Al Davis.