The way it should be

Let me start off by saying congratulations to all the seniors, it has been a brutal year in terms of success on the football field and it was obvious that they dug deep to make sure they walked out of Memorial Stadium winners.  This game certainly doesn’t make up for the entire year but it did show that there is definitely enough talent down there to win.  Joe Ganz, the kid can play!  How could somebody be so off on a players talent is beyond me.  I wonder what other hidden gems are sitting on the sideline. The energy and execution were at a season high, I hadn’t seen them play with this much fire all year long.  If you can play at that level once you can play at that level all the time.  It’s exciting for me because once there is a new coach, somebody who demands a maximum and physical effort in practice, the performance you saw on Saturday will be the norm.  Anyway, this entry should be about how hard our kids played not about what could have been.
Where else can I start but with Joe Ganz?  What an unbelievable day for the junior from Chicago.  Back in the beginning of the year when our struggles first started I called Coach McBride and talked to him about what he was seeing on the field.  The first thing he said was “they need to put that Ganz kid in, he’s a tough son of a bitch and he’ll give you everything he’s got”.  Oh, if that would have happened.  It obviously wasn’t just Joe Ganz out there Saturday, the O-Line did a great job protecting him, the receivers ran nice routes and didn’t drop many balls and the biggest thing was No turnovers.  I would have liked it if we were able to get a couple but at least we didn’t give up any.  There was good balance in our running game with Lucky and Castille and a lot of their credit goes to the Fat Guys up front.  They not only made their blocks on the line of scrimmage but they were also able to get to the next level and get blocks on Kansas State’s linebackers.  When you have a defense like K-State’s 3-4, where they are a little light in the pants, you have to force them to try and defend between the tackles where an offense can counter the speed they have.  Purify had another big game and he keeps getting better and better.
Defensively, it begins and ends with your front four.  If they play well usually the rest of the defense will follow.  With a guy like Josh Freeman running the offense, pressuring him was going to be the key to our success.  Without the threat of the read-option we were able to pin our ears back and really get off on the ball.  I liked putting Octavien at end on some passing downs, he’s a guy who can really use his speed to rush the QB.  We mixed up our blitz package pretty well and even when we weren’t blitzing it looked like the D-Lineman were still given a chance to get up the field and pressure Freeman.  The secondary did a nice job mixing their coverage’s and were able to stick on their guys long enough to allow the pass rush to be effective.  K-State got some yards through the air but that’s what they do best, I didn’t expect us to completely shut them down.  Overall it was a much better defensive effort and to rebound from having 76 points scored on you from the week before, my hat goes off. 
I hope that the kids are able to build off of this and really get some confidence.  They did a lot of things really well and played for the first time like a team.  Take this momentum and carry it on to the practice field and continue to get better. 
If you want to hear about what I think about running up the score or bolting to the locker room immediately after the game you have to tune in to my radio show at 3pm today ESPN1480 TO LISTEN LIVE CLICK HERE.  If you miss the show, check back in a few days and I’ll discuss it in another entry.  Let me know what you guys think about what happened.  JP

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  • Monday, November 12, 2007 11:10 AM Wilson wrote:
    Good win but the frustration remains. Where was the intensity and energy during the middle of the season? Bolting to the locker room... after this season of pressers and gameday management, nothing is surprising anymore.
    Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 11:35 AM Marcus wrote:
    Good win, but this changes nothing with our coaching situation. I think our coaches were probably auditioning for their next jobs. Going for it on 4th and 20 with a huge lead? Or putting Lucky back in on 4th and 2 to score? Continually throwing the ball down the field 15 and 20yds at a time? It made me ashamed to be a Huskers fan that we would disrespect our opponent so much. I understand frustration and all, but this was poor sportsmanship. The announcers kept talking about getting even for last week. If they want to get even, it'll have to wait until we meet Kansas again next year.

    You bet your ass K-State is going to have something waiting for us in Manhattan next year.

    I think it's interesting that the point came up for the players to "play for themselves" Shouldn't they have been playing for each other all along? You make the block, make the tackle, make the play for your teammates. Makes it a hell of a lot easier looking them in the eye when everyone is held accountable and has to do their job.
    Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 12:20 PM Ryan wrote:
    Great blog, Jason.

    This is the first time I've visited your blog and I'm impressed. It's nice to get some insight from a former player.
    Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 12:21 PM Mark wrote:
    Wow! Who; if anyone, saw that one coming. As I wrote last week, I thought Joe Ganz did a great job against Kansas. Did I expect anything like this, in his second start (no way). This kid can play and must be really mentally & physically tough. I really believe he'll play just as well against Colorado. Maybe not the same kind of monster day, but he will play well enough for the rest of the offense to make some plays. I hope the defense has gotten some inspiration from his effort and really brings their top effort for the Buffs.

    As far as Callahan leaving the field, I think he should have stayed with the team, to show appreciation for their effort. He said the day was for the players and didn't want to intrude on the celebration. My thinking is that with all that has transpired this year, he should have definitely been there with them. If nothing else, it would have been a great bonding opportunity with all of the players and the seniors that had been through the hard times the last four years.
    Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 12:25 PM Will Thiel wrote:
    Hi Jason! Thanks again for another perceptive commentary! You hit the nail right on the head as always! As I watched Saturday's game all I could say to myself was "Where has this been!" The team played with fire and intensity and looked like the Nebraska Cornhuskers! Joe Ganz has played two great games in a row and has shown himself to be a true leader on the field! Hate to second guess the coaching staff but he should have been the starting QB from day one! Keep up the great work on your blog! I look forward to every entry! Go Big Red!!
    Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 12:30 PM Andy wrote:

    I have a theory on why Joe Ganz lost out to Keller. Keller was a quality QB with a great arm, and more of your prototypical pro-style QB (size, arm strength, drop-back passer). Callahan, coming from a pro background, may have been looking for that pro-style QB. Ganz, however, is not your typical pro-style QB. He is a little smaller, has a "weaker" arm (looked plenty strong on Saturday), and (theoretically) has less pro-potential than a guy like Keller.

    The thing we saw on Saturday was Ganz's ability to create plays with his feet. When his guys were covered, he got out of the pocket and created confusion on the defense. This allowed the coverage to break down, and helped us pick up critical yards when we otherwise would have been stuck with a throw-away or a sack. When guys can't get open, Ganz has the ability to pick up yards with his legs. I will take a 3 or 4 yard gain on first and second down over a throw-away or a sack any day. It's the difference between third and long and third a manageable. This is the critical difference between Ganz and Keller.

    Thanks for the blog Jason.

    Go Big Red!!
    Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 1:01 PM Pajeez wrote:
    I love reading your opinions about the state of the football team. Your honesty is refreshing.
    For the first time in a long time it felt good to be a Husker fan on saturday. Ganz played his heart out and gave the entire stadium energy. The seniors have put up with so much in their time here, they deserved a lasting memory they can be pround of. I think these guys finally started playing for each other instead of for themselves. We need kids who understand that you don't play at Nebraska you play FOR Nebraska!
    As far as Callahan is concerned, this win doesn't change anything. He has never shown the class that Nebraska is so pround of. He was running up the score, why? Probably to show what he can do for his next job. Not to mention I believe he knows his time here is running out, and he doesn't have to worry about what KSU thinks of him or NU. He won't be here to see the backlash.
    He also should have stayed on the field and celebrated with his team. They have had to stand up for him all year, even if they didn't believe in him. The least he could have done is stand next to them in THEIR moment of glory.
    Thanks again Jason.
    Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 1:02 PM tyler wrote:
    Jason, I would like to start off by saying good commentary again. The game was a great one and it was good to see the kids play with heart and enthuasm. I liked the fact that we kept playing for 4 quaters, I seems this team has a hard time getting it going don't let them slow down when the get there. I personally hate K-state and their undeserved caulky attitude. I live in missouri so I had to listen to the K-state broadcast it was great! Lets hope we can keep it rolling into Colorado because that one is always tuff. It was good to see the defense getting off blocks and swarming to the ball. Steinkuler blayed a good game he lokked like the anchor we need to shore up a shotty run D. As for the caoching staff little to late or maybe a band-aid for one more year, What do you think? Is it to late for Ganz for heisman campaigne? He looked like the prototypical college winner, you don't need the Nfl measurables to win in college. Josh heupel, todd ressing, major applewhite, eric crouch, 0 nfl qb snaps and plenty of college sucess. lesson to Bill! How do you think the cu game will turn out? If good do you think we deserve a bowl game? Later 55, Love your blog!
    Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 1:49 PM Greg wrote:
    One would think that a coach who has been struggling all year and finally won a game would really want to stay and celebrate with his players during the school song. That would be true, if that coach actually cared about his players, I guess.
    Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 1:51 PM brian wrote:
    Hey Jason, love the website, love the radio show. I don't know what happened this weekend compared to the last 5 weeks, but I think it starts with Ganz. But I don't believe that if he won the starting job to start the year he would be able to do what he is doing. You can guarantee, that being passed over by transfers twice has put a chip on his shoulder, and helped him develop the attitude we are seeing from him on the field. As far as running up the score, I think we had to score every time we got the chance, after all our defense still gave up 31, they hadn't played a full game yet so you couldn't plan on us to continue stopping them. After half time on the radio they asked Bill where the kids energy came from, and he said I don't know and I can't explain it. Doesn't that pretty much sum up his career here. He has no answers for why they were playing poorly, and is just as dumb founded when they are playing good.

    Hopefully the kids can continue to play for each other in the Colorado game, and we come out with another win. And hopefully after the game we'll know for sure that we are getting a new coach. But anyway keep up the good work and the honesty, I'm glad your back now us as fans and former players have a voice again.
    Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 1:54 PM brian wrote:
    Hey Jason, love the website, love the radio show. I don't know what happened this weekend compared to the last 5 weeks, but I think it starts with Ganz. I don't believe that if he won the starting job to start the year he would be able to do what he is doing. You can guarantee, that being passed over by transfers twice has put a chip on his shoulder, and helped him develop the attitude we are seeing from him on the field. As far as running up the score, I think we had to score every time we got the chance, after all our defense still gave up 31, they hadn't played a full game yet so you couldn't plan on us to continue stopping them. After half time on the radio they asked Bill where the kids energy came from, and he said I don't know and I can't explain it. Doesn't that pretty much sum up his career here. He has no answers for why they were playing poorly, and is just as dumb founded when they are playing good. That is probably why he ran off the field, he knows he had nothing to do with the way the kids played.

    Hopefully the kids can continue to play for each other in the Colorado game, and we come out with another win. And hopefully after the game we'll know for sure that we are getting a new coach. But anyway keep up the good work and the honesty, I'm glad your back, now us as fans and former players have a voice again.
    Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 1:58 PM Todd wrote:

    I have enjoyed reading your blog the past few weeks, and can honestly say that I look forward to a new one every week.

    I see a few people have made comments about Callahan leaving the field right after the game instead of celebrating with the team, but nobody has said anything about his actions during warm ups.

    Back in the day of Osborne and Solich, I remember the head coach approaching the players to shake their hands and probably give a few words of encouragement during warm ups. Saturday I did not see Callahan interact with any players, until he was giving the plays to the quarterback during the drills right before heading to the locker room.

    Is that kind of disconnect from the players something that is a NFL thing?
    Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 2:26 PM Gabe wrote:
    That was a real gut check; having a team run up seventy-something
    point against you one week, then bouncing back to SCORE seventy-
    something points the next against a very competitive opponent! I don't
    ever remember that happening before.
    But it kind of reminds me of the old" Bear", who once declared " My
    practices are hard because if a player is going to quit, I want him to
    quit during PRACTICE and NOT on the two yard line with a minute to go
    in the game"!!!!
    And hears one Jason will appreciate, " You don't have to SEE a great
    tackle; you can HEAR IT"!
    Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 3:00 PM Russ L wrote:
    Wow, the rest of the big 12 and big 12 north sure are desperate to keep callahan and staff around awhile longer.

    Don't worry, I see right through your
    devious little scheme fellas...shame on you Prince for giving into peer pressure and laying down like that.

    lol I am kidding, but yu know it's true
    the rest of the big 12, especially the north would hate to see Calli gone.
    They are scared we might actually get a staff that can teach technique, instill a weekly practice schedule that actually includesd practicing.A staff that actually can evaluate talent effectively, because they have seen the player day in and day out, week after week, perform in a real live situational scenarios.

    We used to know them as scrimmages lol, but you have to actually wear pads in practice and hit someone to make those types of evaluations huh?

    Ok I am being a little sarcastic,but wtf...this talent has been there all along, why did we have to wait 11 games into the season to see some effort?

    I am glad they found themselves finally, so I will give them props for finding a way to overcome all the negativity and just have fun playing football again. I was very impressed, but at the same time it sadended me a little too..because of what this team maybe could have accomplished for themselves...not for me the fan, but for themselves as a team.

    Great job of coming together and putting forth a really impressive effort all around, that showed alot of character players.The staff deserves a little credit too.

    But Billy.. going for it on 4 and 20 when you already secured a large margin of victory? Come on man, thats just wrong dude..wonder what fellowship of christian athletes thought abouty that show of sportsmanship? Trick coach?

    Great for Ganz to get playign time, but in a blowout, I have seen other husker offensive stars not even play more than a few snaps in second half.

    To me ,it was disrespectful to former
    pleyers who got sat when they could have ran up their numbers.

    Sht Calli, do you know how many games, say a player like Rozier was sitting watching his backups get some reps because the game was over in the 2nd quarter? He could have rushed for 50 touchdowns and 3,500 yrds if it wasn't the case, you use these kinds of games to develop players and get the bach kups some gametime experience, not meaningless midway 4th quarter slop time.

    Great job players...Coach C, you're still Clueless Calli to me.
    Reply to this
    1. Monday, November 12, 2007 3:30 PM Russ L wrote:
      Don't worry Calli, we all have faults.

      Heck look at me, I am the worlds worst typist, and paragraph structing idiot on the planet....sht I wouldn't know a spell check button if it sat in the lower right corner mocking me flashing a strobelight "Check Spelling"..."Check Spelling" .."CHECK fkn SPELLING HERE IDIOT",but at least I am not out there trying to teach an english class or typing 101. I know my limitations.

      Just got an idea, maybe Calli can write a book, Call it something like.

      "The art of to destroy a program without exsplosives"
      Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 3:46 PM Russ L wrote:
    Jason, how do you feel when Calli says the higher-ups , instead of saying Tom Osborne, or Tom, or TO or coah Osborne?

    Everytime I hear him say "it's up to the higher-ups" I want to smack him upside his head and tell him to quit being so disrespectful...Tom Osborne is your boss now with it.

    Now today Calli is tooting his horn about how he has developed quartebacks.
    So basicly he is saying Ganz wasn't ready in week one, and it only took
    Calli almost 4 whole yrs to get him ready to play.
    Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 3:48 PM Gabe Renzo wrote:
    You know, I am always amazed at people who can jump up and criticize others for doing a job they themselves have never had the courage or knowledge to attempt to do.
    Case and point: I was at a concert a short while back that featured rock bands of the '60's and '70's; of course you had today's music geniuses there making remarks and insulting those bands and their music!
    Well, I had to ask them, "Were you voted into the Rock 'n Roll hall of fame? How many GOLD records do you have". These bands have had quite a bit of success"
    Well, the same philosophy can be applied here to those who "think" they can coach a major college football team.And it's not just Callahan at Nebraska I hear these comments about, it's Charlie Weiss at Notre Dame and Lloyd Carr at Michigan..! I MEAN, HEY, THE TITANIC DIDN'T SINK BECAUSE THE DECK CHAIRS WERE FACING THE WRONG WAY, YOU KNOW! THERE WERE SOME OTHER VERY IMPORTANT FACTORS INVOLVED.
    LET'S look at the whole picture here guys, okay?
    Thank you!
    Reply to this
    1. Monday, November 12, 2007 4:05 PM Marcus wrote:
      I didn't see anyone here claiming they could coach a football team. You're missing the point. The point is that we can tell who is getting the job done and who isn't. The job isn't getting done.

      Maybe JP can tell you how often they practiced in full pads, how often they scrimmaged, and how brutal and physical practices were. They sure aren't that way now, and it shows.
      Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 4:37 PM Gabe Renzo wrote:
    I have been following college football for over fifty years and a goodly portion of those years were spent cheering on the Big Red.I don't think I'm missing the point, or at least I hope I'm not. What I wanted to point out is that many fans and alumni are quick to commence with the infamous diatribe of "shoulda' coulda' woulda'" and what I'm saying is there is no silver bullet.
    Many thought firing Frank Solich was going to be the answer. It wasn't. And I don't believe firing Bill Callahan is the panacea. The program itself needs to be remodeled in full, starting with recruiting!
    Thank you.
    Reply to this
    1. Monday, November 12, 2007 6:05 PM Darrin wrote:
      I agree that the program needs to be remodeled, and that starts from the top - the head coach. If you want to start with recruiting, I think that is Callahan's only strong point. Successful coaches have the ability to lead (Urban Meyer), motivate (Pete Carrol), recruit(Ron Zook), develop recruits (Tom Osbourne), and implement a solid playing scheme with appropriate adjustments. Callahan has had a top 20 recruiting class for the past three years, and the Solich/Osbourne left him with fine recruits as well. With this being said, he has failed in leading, motivating, developing recruits - weight program / practice, and developing an offensive and defensive scheme that is consistently productive. I think TO will fire Callahan, but I think it is crucial to hire the "right" guy to come in. The Huskers of the present and future must believe in a coach and his system or they will "hope" they can win each week rather than "expect" to win!!!! The flux of scores show that we have many good players, but they must be motivated to get stronger, believe they can accomplish greater, and be convinced that the coaches will lead them with the proper training, knowledge, and adjustments to force their will on opponents!!!!!!
      Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 6:58 PM Gabe Renzo wrote:
    That was very well expressed, and very much right on as was the previous comment by "Marcus".
    And you named a fine stable of coaches there; I would also add Schiano of Rutgers and Patterson of TCU.
    But you are right.There are many facets of the Nebraska Football program that NEED to be retooled! And I am certain
    Coach Osborne, who has a superior grasp of all these connecting points will take
    stringent measures in honing those particular skill departments.
    Thank you, and Marcus, very much for your in input.
    Reply to this
    1. Monday, November 12, 2007 7:33 PM Marcus wrote:
      Gabe, I see your point, and I whole-heartedly agree that we can't get wrapped up in the moment and start firing anyone we want after a loss. It would be much different if Callahan were in his first year. I wish the man no ill-will, and neither should anyone else. We were told that there would at least be improvement, and instead this season has been a backslide. It's time to look at the big picture, tell Callahan "Thanks, you tried" and part ways. We need a return to the tradition that has worked so well. The walk-ons, the all-americans, the prestige. I don't doubt that Callahan is a decent coach, just that he isn't a good fit for this job. I think Pelini could be a great coach. Either way, doesn't matter. In Dr. Tom We Trust. He'll do the right thing. Shame it couldn't work out with Callahan, especially since it calls our loyalty into question when we fire a coach every few years (Notre Dame ring a bell?). The system needs a reboot, and then we can get back to our winning tradition.


      Reply to this
    2. Monday, November 12, 2007 7:44 PM Russ L wrote:
      Gabe, I know I may come off as as a smartass know it all. I don't have all the answers, I do know a little about
      some of the things that made Nebraska football a tough and consistent program for all the yrs it was though.
      I was a walkon back in '85, I was only there one yr because of family problems and I didn't reach out to my teammates and coaches when I should have, and went down a spiraling out of control partying binge my freshman yr.

      I don't even know if we have a freshman team anymore that plays the other schools JV's, but we did then.
      It was alot of fun.We hit hard every day in practice, it was only way you could try and get noticed.

      Even when us fullbacks were off by ourselves doing one on one blocking
      technique drills we brang it hard at each other, me n Sam Smitch would have bleeding busted knuckles all the trime from popping the chestpads or hitting a facemask...ahh the fun.

      One thing I do know is our practices , even on the freshman squad were intense and very competitive.
      I remember hanging out with Broderick Thomas the summer before practice started and him telling me.."Russ, I am going to start the first game, you just watch me man" I looked at him and laughed, I said " Broderick, you are dreaming dude, freshman don't start at Nebraska, you have to earn it."

      Well of course I was wrong lol, he proved he was good enough , Leroy Eatiene, and of course Steve Taylor
      all proved me wrong that yr hehe.
      But blocked both their asses every day in practice, they didn't get past me.

      lol almost got in a rumble with Leroy,
      one day, his motor was only one speed, he didn't know what to the ball meant.

      Well one thing is for sure, we all care alot about our program, and I just want that old attitude back , that work ethic and a coach who
      won't try to distance himself from the old.

      You can write your own history and put your own stamp on a program without kicking in the teeth of those who came before you and built the hitory.

      I think in the last few weeks we are already seeing the positive influence that former players being around can have on the team.

      I am mad at Calli, not because I think he is a bad person or coach, but
      he disrespected former players , our history, and former coaches..hell he still can't just refer to Osborne as anything other than " The powers that be" or " the higher - ups"

      Do I think coaching is difficult?
      Heck yeah , it's a realy tough job, insanely long hours , it's very hard to pls everyone.

      I don't know calli or any of his staff, so I can't say I dislike them, but I do dislike the job they have done and how they have done it.

      If he would just once say.. you know what I messed up, I made some mistakes.
      blah blah, but he is so stubborn and insitent that he has done an excellent job.

      BS I say, admit your mistakes and tell us what maybe you can do to correct them.

      But noooo, we never hear those sort of things from Bill.
      Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 8:01 PM Jan wrote:
    I'll borrow a line from Butch Cassidy & The Sundance kid: "who are those guys?"

    I also agree this game needs to be the benchmark for future games.

    Loved the way Joey lowers his shoulder and smacks a guy and the way he gets things done with his feet.

    Oh, man this win feels good.

    Thanks for all you do JP. Keep up the good work because you're certainly making a difference.
    Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 8:06 PM Russ L wrote:
    Ok Gabe,

    Here's another thought for you on why I am down on this staff and Callahan especially.After blowing my chance at Nebraska and spending a few yrs just partying and feeling sry for myself, I moved her to Seattle, WA area where my mom lived at the time to start over.
    Back in '91 I was up in Alaska commercial crab fishing for 6 months, got home around thanksgiving and found out that Washington had beat us at home.

    You know what my first thought was then? It was something like this...WoW, The Huskies must be pretty dam good to come in memorial stadium and get a win.well we found out they were pretty darn good huh.But you better believe they knew they played a game the next day and earned that win.

    I never once thought that hmm...the Husker players must have not showed up and played hard.That would have never ever ever crossed my mind back then.

    But now? well I can't say I have that feeling about our program anymore.

    And I am pisssed, Calli stole that feeling from me and I want it back.

    I want to feel that in defeat, our players gave it all they had, but came up short... or lost to a better team.

    Wearing that N should mean something, Calli and Pedi stole that from all of us.

    But, it's on it's way back...soon we won't have to doubt wether or not our team gave it their best effort or not and left it on the field.
    Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 8:19 PM bugeater50 wrote:
    You're right on Jason when you said what other gems could be standing on the sidelines. For the life of Husker football...can't Callahan or the coaches know the playmakers and play 'em? Listened to the post game show and BC couldn't explain how they rang up so many points. Doesn't he have an inkling as to why they won...and why they lost so badly in the previous five? Joe Ganz...offers more that's why. He's a heckuva team more ways than winning on the field.
    Reply to this
    1. Wednesday, November 14, 2007 4:42 AM Alan Blackburn wrote:
      I believe when BC recruited SK he made some promises about playing. BC didn't plan on playing JG until SK suffered the season ending injury. I think BC's recruiting deception was exposed with the superior play of JG. It turns out JG was and is the best QB, but who had to suffer; the Team, fans, and BC because he's going to lose his job (not just for that reason alone). BC lost his players in Oakland and it happened here; must be a "system" problem.
      Reply to this
      1. Wednesday, November 14, 2007 8:56 AM Jason Peter wrote:
        I think you hit it right on the head with the "promises".  This is college football, why wouldn't you bring in your back up QB for at least some mop-up duty in the 4th quarter.  Get a guy some game experience.  You're right about loosing his players, I know guys in Oakland who don't have very nice things to say about him.
        Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 8:33 PM Scott wrote:
    What a breath of fresh air in this turbulent season. The stadium almost had a party atmosphere to it which those seniors and this team deserved for their effort.
    Congrats on the win, but where was this earlier? We need that kind of effort every week! Our new staff must instill how that is the effort that needs to be displayed and nothing less will be tolerated.
    Congrats to the team. Good luck at CU.
    Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 10:38 PM Julie wrote:
    Jason, your blog is a refuge for all Husker fans. We cannot properly thank you. And for all of those who are willing to add their comments, I thank you also. The radio broadcast was terrific today! I've always enjoyed Ken Hambelton... he posed an interesting question. I have no position on "accept or reject" a bowl bid, but I sure hope we stomp the Buffaloes
    Reply to this
    1. Monday, November 12, 2007 10:57 PM Darin wrote:
      Yes pound the buff's and lets get this year behind us. And one last thing, lets get back to old fashion Neb. a.. kicken football. The Saturdays when you wake up drooling for the other teams blood. The Big Red breaking the will of anyone on the other sidelines. Thats what I want to get back to. Just bring it! Good to see ya back 55.
      Reply to this
  • Monday, November 12, 2007 11:25 PM Phil Wojo wrote:
    JP, with you being back in Lincoln, has it entered your mind to be the DC, if asked? I have said for a LONG time that the team, since 98 on, has lacked a "fire breather", someone who would charge up the team. After you and Grant left, there has been that void of a true team leader. I had hoped Kelsay would be that but he was quiet. Rucker didn't step up. The list goes on. I think having you on the sidelines would be wonderful. Hell, have Wistrom come back and you and he be co-defensive coords. We need somebody to teach, or show, these kids how to get that fire in their gut each week.

    Just some food for thought...
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  • Tuesday, November 13, 2007 1:11 AM hack wrote:
    joey ganz was a very pleasant surprise. if he ends-up as the qb next year, he should torch some taylor's records his senior season.
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  • Tuesday, November 13, 2007 1:12 AM BMiles wrote:
    I am going to go a little off topic here from what Jason has asked for but I will stay a bit on topic with Ganz.

    First I would like to say that though I am not close to the situation, it has appeared to me as if Callahan has ran his recruiting program like a used car salesman. Harrison Beck was obviously a spoiled rotten little kid but starting at that point in time, I just had a feeling that Callahan had made promises and commitments for playing time and the time frame for Harrison to see playing times, I just felt that there was something there we were not being told that lit that fire a couple years back.

    Then there is Lucky, he has been one down and out kind of guy and has made it clear at times how unhappy he was not to mention they mysterious stay in the hospital last year. Again I have felt their were promises made to get him to Nebraska that Callahan could not keep. Who ever heard of four starting running back, Cory Ross and Brandon Jackson were the obvious winners of that position, Lucky was not even in their league let alone share responsibilities. Again this year, we are find Lucky on the field while the freshman seem to be running circles around him but I feel as if Callahan tries his best to make good on past promises to Lucky but it has really hurt the team because Lucky really just isn't that good in my opinion. I think we will see a significant improvement in the running game once Lucky moves on.

    This brings us to Ganz and Keller. I remember Keller's first game, he looked so uncomfortable and out of place but yet he was our starter. I think it was that first game against Nevada that Ganz was allowed to come in and take a few snaps late in Q4. Not that I ever thought Taylor was as great as he was made out to be but Ganz came in and looked as comfortable as Taylor at the line of scrimmage which got me wondering then if their had not again been promises made by Callahan to Keller and his dad that ultimately would hurt the team. As far as Keller and Ganz go, I think the writing is on the wall as to who really won out the starting position last spring, the question is how did Keller get the job when it appears to not have been even close.
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    1. Tuesday, November 13, 2007 1:34 AM Dan Conner wrote:
      I can't speak to the Marlon Lucky situation, a running back can only run when his O line blocks. However, I was never impressed with Sam Keller either: Im no expert, but it seemed to me he had a strange throwing style; he over threw or under threw lots of passes; and he never seemed to be in controll. Right after Keller went down in the Texas game, Ganz came in and made things happen - right away. Keller never seemed to "make things happen". Your idea about Callahan promising things seems to be very probable. It wasn't just taking it up a notch or two, they took it up to orbital level.
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    2. Tuesday, November 13, 2007 4:59 AM Russ L wrote:
      Well, we have seen glimpses of what lucky can do, I think he has just been used wrong in a lot of situations.

      Did you see him run over that d-back sat, that was frickin awesome, I didn't have a clue he had it in him.

      That just goes to show something has been missing. And I think it's coaching
      and not hitting enough in practice.

      Lucky would have been really, really good running out of the I formation,
      from what I saw he does better with a deep set from the line with a chance to
      find the hole and read his blocks.

      If we were do run more out of the I ,
      especially the power isolations with lead fullback and lucky could have a that downhill momentum and time to let the play develop, he would rack the yards up trust me.

      Plus , when is the last time you have seen any type of counter action run that I mean, the back (and sometimes the quarterback) takes their first one direction then goes the other.

      this type of play creates two positive things for an offense, first it gets the defenders to react towards the motion and they are already a step out of place, easier to get seal blocks on.

      Second, it creates a little doubt in their heads about wich direction the play is really going to go...makes the defenders a little hesitant in actually committing to filling what gap, where.

      Ok actually another benefit is it can create some serious cutback lanes too.

      Throw in some play action and you are really messing with a defenders head, especially if you've had some success running the ball.

      I think we could run lots of variations of the westcoast, spread option, traditional option, I formation
      ect ect, mix it all up a bit and keep things versatile.

      I played some semi pro ball out here in Seattle, I was playing single back
      in a run n shoot offense and my line sucked. Trying to run the ball with no lead back and overmatched line was not much fun.

      They always got mad cuz they were all bruised up in their backsides, I'd say then fkn block someone and I won't have to run you and the defense over to get my 5 yrds fools.

      My point is I had no lead blocker to read off of, my line couldn't open a hole...there is no time to dance around trying to find a hole, the plays are designed to be quick hitting in a certain gap and I wasn't no Barry Sanders lol.

      So what did I do, I said "coach, this isn't working, I played some I formation at Nebraska, lets put one of the big guys in at fullback for me and see what happens.

      So lol we put in an O tackle that weighed about 270 and I told him to just run over the first person that he
      saw in the hole.
      I scored from 45 yrds the first dam play we ran with him plowing the way and the coach was like dang Russ , that was the prettiest run ever saw.

      The thing is coaches can and should adapt during a game, and they haven't used Lucky as effectively as they could have.
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      1. Tuesday, November 13, 2007 9:53 AM Jason Peter wrote:
        Thanks for the comments.  I actually think the coaches have used Marlon in the best possible way the last 4 or 5 games.  They are doing a lot of swing passes and screens with him.  Marlon in my eyes is a third down back.  Until he proves me wrong he isn't a guy who can carry the load week in week out.  He needs to be more physical, yes the play where he ran over the d-back from k-state was great but he has to be more consistent in his physical play.  I've played with and against many great backs and the one thing they all do is stay on their feet through contact, this is something Marlon needs to work on.  I think he's very talented and is on his way to doing some great things but he still has a lot of work in front of him.  JP
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        1. Tuesday, November 13, 2007 11:49 AM Russ L wrote:
          Oh I know exactly what you are saying regarding Lucky Jason.

          Up until recently his performance has been somewhat lacking. And yep, they have used him more effectively lately.

          I was just saying , that we saw a glimpse of what he is capable of.

          I guess my point was more along the lines of maybe he hasn't been developed
          as a player the way he could have been.

          Something lit a fire under him, if he can play like that once, he can play like that all the time is my thought.

          And I agree, he has a ways to go still.
          It was just really nice to see him not go down by an arm tackle or first contact for a change.He showed he has the ability, so why are we just now seeing it I would ask.

          And you are right, he is more of a third down back, he is pretty good out in space too.
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          1. Tuesday, November 13, 2007 9:43 PM BMiles wrote:
            I like the guy but I just don't think he is the great running back we are led to believe. It was not even close between him and Brandon Jackson yet Lucky came out threat season the starter of the so called committee of four. In my opinion, there was no committee of four, Callahan had made promises to Lucky to get him there then when he was getting beat out by others like Jackson and especially Glenn the previous year before injuries, Callahan came up with the committee of four instead of telling Lucky he made promises to him he could not keep.

            This season is really no different in my opinion. Yes Lucky can block, he has done great with the screens but when it comes to running back, the freshman are eating him alive in my opinion. Lucky is lacking two important characteristics, the ability to make something happen when the hole is not there, yards after contact, and most importantly he is lacking in the area of ability to make you miss. In my opinion, Lucky is more of a north and south runner, he is fast but not as fast as he should be, he has been chased down from behind on many occasions. Even though he is weak in yards after contact, I think he may have fit the mold better of a fullback, just my opinion.

            I may not be posting the most popular comments but I am telling it just the way I see it. The point of my original post was to point out that I think Callahan has made a lot of promises to guys for playing time just to get them to Nebraska and one of a few things happened, either they got pissed off when they did not get the playing time and they quit, may still be on the team but unhappy thus not motivated while bringing down the performance of others, or Callahan benched the real starter like he did with Ganz in order to stat the guy he made promises to along with his dad.
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            1. Tuesday, November 13, 2007 10:17 PM Julie wrote:
              You have the right judgment, BMiles!!
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            2. Wednesday, November 14, 2007 9:31 AM Jason Peter wrote:
              Lucky a fullback, oh no!  The biggest part of his game that he needs to work on is the physical part.  The things that you mentioned; hitting the hole even when you think it's not big enough to get through, yards after contact is probably the most important.  You can't go down by just one guy, you have to force the defense to gang tackle you.  Being a fullback means giving up your body for the team, going head to head with 250lb linebackers who want to put him in the ER, it's a lot of dirty work and you have to be a rare breed to play that position.  Guys like the Mackovika's or Corey Schlesinger, these guys have a few screws loose.  That's not number 5, he's a tailback and like I said yesterday a "3rd down back" until he proves me wrong.
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  • Tuesday, November 13, 2007 1:23 AM Dan Conner wrote:
    It's been 2 1/2 days, and I still can't figure out how our team can play so badly for 5 straight games, and then play like that against K-State. I'm glad they did it, but how to explain it. Am I correct in thinking that this game proved that there is alot of tatent on this team. Am I also correct in thinking that Joe Ganz made the offense better - lots better. Whomever coaches this team next season won't have to start from scratch.
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  • Tuesday, November 13, 2007 3:19 AM Paul Billesbach wrote:
    I remember commenting after the spring game that I thought the best performance came from Ganz. His ability to scramble was evident even then and the rapport he had with his team looked special. Even when Keller was picked to start I was confident that Ganz would get his chance if and when the inexperience of Keller showed. There were multiple times through out the season that I thought Callahan had good reason to see what Ganz could do. It's too bad it took an injury to get a coach to do what he should have done when it could have mattered most. Ganz is the real deal, an experienced WCO QB that totally understands the system and can run it like a general. Fear the Ganz!
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  • Tuesday, November 13, 2007 8:08 AM Joe wrote:
    Good recap, but you are not giving due credit to Keller. Ganz has been good, but the offenseive gameplan has been opened up due to they have nothing to lose. Callahan WCO was vanilla until Watson got some responsibility. Look at the Tex A&M game, 1st half -Waston, 2nd half - Callahan
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    1. Tuesday, November 13, 2007 9:08 AM Jason Peter wrote:
      I have said that all along.  The recent offensive success goes back to the A&M game when Watson called the plays in the 1st half.  The biggest change he made was running the ball in between the tackles.  If it wasn't for Watson, Cally would still be trying to run the outside zone every play.  The inside running game opened up the entire offense, once we had balance with our running game, the passing game took off.  We weren't one dimensional.  I have always given credit to Keller, I thought he did a great job as a one year transfer.  His leadership was most valuable but Joe Ganz is a better fit in this offense.  Anytime you have a QB who can buy himself and the offense more time it's a plus.  I think if we had an o-line like in the old days, Sam would have done incredible.  JP
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    2. Tuesday, November 13, 2007 9:35 AM Mark wrote:
      I think we're also forgetting that the offense has opened up because they finally have someone who knows the system. Joe has been there for 4 years and knows the playbook and is comfortable with everything. Now you're seeing what this offense can do with someone who knows it and can be a leader on the field. It's too bad an injury was the reason he is now on the field. Perhaps he should have been there sooner. Jason was right. How many other gems are or were on the sidelines?
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  • Tuesday, November 13, 2007 11:30 AM barney wrote:
    I won't go into all the detail on Callahans remarks and the fact he just can't give the credit where it's do. Does anyone think Watson may be better than we think. I remember reading some articles about how he would at some point be highly regarded as a head coach candidate. HE is the one who gave the credit where it should have been for the win. Maybe TO will look at him and give him an opportunity.Would Watson with Marvin Sanders as DC be a good matchup for our sytem? It would provide some continiuity and maintain some of the relationships with recruits. It has become obvious Watson can motivate and connect with college age players. What do some of you think? Jason?
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