Sunday, November 11, 2007

Running Up the Score: Not Cool, Bill

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.


Christopher said...

To say that last touchdown was running up the score is a bit over-dramatic. Beau Davis was in the game; it's not like we were chucking it all over the field on that final drive. We ran it ten times. How much more conservative could Bill have been?

When up 66-24, what's the greater 4th-and-goal offense: kicking a gimme field goal or running the ball? What should BC have done in that situation?

BC's messed up enough. I don't think we should look for things to criticize in a 73-31 win.

TB said...

Just for the record, I have no problem with it and am taking no offense to it. I would say the same thing you are if it was my coach, but as you can tell from my latest post, there's nobody to blame but K-State for how things ended up.

Husker Mike said...

The play call on 4th and goal up 66-24 was not an issue. Having Marlon Lucky in the game at that point was flat-out wrong. Also, having Joe Ganz throwing touchdown passes to go up 59-17 and 66-17 is wrong as well. We were chucking it all over the field in that 4th quarter...and it wasn't necessary at all.

The Hosh said...

completely agree, although it sure was nice to see a score like we became accustomed to in the 90's (in our favor not our opponents') he was not classy.

Anonymous said...


As if Tom Osbourne never RUTS on hapless opponents for poll position.

Granted, he had to do it, because margin of victory was part of the formula, but you can't get mad at Callahan for doing something that Dr. Tom was famous for. It appears this is just sour grapes.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a bad taste in my mouth.


AJ said...

I was on the other end of PLENTY of Tom Osborne "just running out the clock" games against my team.

Besides, what the hell does Callahan care now? He's leaving. You all hate him anyway.

WHy not just say F U to all of you AND K-STate in one fell swoop?

I would have done the same thing...except I probably would have urinated in the honeycorn Popcorn stand. And who knows...maybe he did.

Anonymous said...

Would you rather have had Castille or Helu score that last touchdown?

HuskerNation said...

I gotta be honest, I'm not realy upset about the running up the score issue. If they were having a good season, it wasn't Senior Day, and it wasn't KSU, it would be a different story. Oh yeah, and it was Bill Callahan calling the shots. You really surprised?

HuskerMike, can you put a link to my new blog up? I will return the favor:


Husker Mike said...

Running up the score is more a matter of intent than the actual score. Having Roy Helu or Quentin Castille makes a big difference; it was an opportunity to get reserves some valuable playing time.

beaviebugeater said...

Well as Billy C demonstrated in his press conference yesterday, running up the score was all part of him wanting to demonstrate that his offensive system is formidable.

The merits of that can be debated, but the intent was two-fold: a) give one big middle finger to all the hating fans AND to Ron Prince and b) make a strong play for a coordinator job in the NFL - the best job Billy C will ever get again.

You could tell by his comments he's sick and tired of being criticized by a bunch of dumb hicks like us and he certainly has a very high opinion of his coaching prowess, especially on the offensive side of the ball. In fact Ganz's accomplishments Saturday really had nothing to do with Ganz, it was all due to the system.

11/23 is my birthday and all I want is a Husker victory followed by a swift and sure firing of Billy C and his sidekick.