Nebraska Coach Bill Callahan Quotes

Nebraska Football
Head Coach
Bill Callahan
Postgame Quotes
Nov. 12, 2005

Opening statement
"This was a great team effort by all three phases, and collectively by our team today. We're really proud of our kids and the way they battled back through resiliency in this particular kind of game. It shows a lot of character on this football team, and I'm really proud. I'm really proud of our players and the way that they played. They just hunkered down at the end. I can't say enough good things about the way they came back and played the way they did when they had to and made plays they needed to make in order to win."

On what went through your mind when junior quarterback Zac Taylor went down
"Well the first thing that goes through my mind is that I hope he's alright. Fortunately he was. That was the first thing that went through my mind. Secondly, we were prepared for this contingency in the case that it occured, which it did. (Freshman quarterback) Harrison (Beck) came in, tried to make a play right there that got picked, and then came back, with some resiliency again and made the play on the bootleg to (freshman wide receiver) Nate Swift. That put us in position, and he also took the hit. What can you say, tremendous job that (freshman quarterback) Harrison (Beck) did, and then of course (freshman placekicker Jordan) Congdon, and (freshman defensive end) Zach Potter blocking a kick. A lot of young guys played today, and I'm awfully proud of their efforts."

On what the game-winning drive will do for freshman quarterback Harrison Beck's confidence
"He's got great poise in that respect. He came out very collected in terms of his demeanor in the huddle. He did a nice job just taking command and control of what he had to get done. He was very focused, and he's a very competitive young man. I'm really proud of his efforts today. And like I said, a lot of people contributed. We played a lot of young guys at the tackle position today. (Freshman offensive linemen) Matt Slauson, Lydon Murtha, and (sophomore offensive lineman) Chris Patrick. Those are a lot of young players. (Freshman wide receiver) Nate Swift. I mean, those are young players. And they did a tremendous job and I'm awfully proud of their efforts today."

On what (junior quarterback) Zac Taylor officially left the game with
"A concussion. I believe he got hit to the head. I don't know if they deemed it as such. He was knocked out, knocked out pretty good. But I'm glad that he's O.K. I'm hopeful that he'll be ready to play against Colorado."

On how you decided to replace (junior quarterback) Zac Taylor with (freshman quarterback) Harrison Beck
"It was a no-brainer. We've talked about that. We've talked about that and we made that decision. It was the best decision in the best interest for this football team. We needed (freshman quarterback) Harrison (Beck) to win, and he's been put in that position for several weeks as a backup. It was unfortunate, but that's life. We had to do what we had to do to win today, and he was instrumental, and intrical, relative to this point."

On what you will be able to do with Harrison Beck the rest of the way assuming (junior quarterback) Zac Taylor comes back against Colorado
"We'll maintain our same roles. This puts us in a position to be Bowl-eligible right now, so hopefully we can improve upon that in couple weeks when we play Colorado, and put ourselves in an even better position. That will only mean that he'll get more reps throughout practice, and things like that. I can only take it one day at a time. and I have not made any determination with where we're going. (Junior) Zac Taylor is our quarterback. And he did a heck of a job today, especially in that first half. I tell you what, throwing into that wind, it was a gale. It was tough to throw in that particular type of environment today, and he did exceedingly well in that first half. But if you look at the way the game was played out, in terms of the coin-toss decision, it had some of the exact same situations and scenarios that occured against Oklahoma. You give up two possessions, and that's key. We'll take those possessions, and we have confidence that we can move the ball. And then of course, it helped us again at the beginning of the third quarter, where we took the ball down the field and we scored through the passing game. We did a tremendous job throwing into some real tough conditions today."

On what it means to send the seniors off with a win
"I just mentioned that in the locker room to our seniors. I congratulated them, and also conveyed my appreciation for everthing they have given us here in their career. It was great to see those kids, and finish their senior year, their career here, with a win at home. And what an atmosphere. Late in the game, our crowd kind of came alive like I've never heard before. It will be memorable for those guys. We try to make it a memorable week in our preperation. It certainly reached it's height today with this game. So it culminated a great victory for us and for those kids. We're all excited that we won today.

On whether you said something to anybody to ignite the fire in the running game after an initial slow start
"No, we were doing what we're doing. We just kept pounding it and trying to make a dent here and there. We were just trying to gain some consistency. I thought we had good balance today. I thought we had a good mix today of run and pass. They're pretty stingy in the front if you looked at it closely in the way that they were running linebackers through gaps, and when they were tackling the front, it really allowed us to take advantage of some of the bootlegs that we were running off the play action. So the play action pass was there throughout the day. We made some big plays to (junior fullback) Dane Todd, some huge plays to (sophomore tight end) J.B. Phillips, and of course (freshman wide receiver) Nate Swift, and also (sophomore wide receiver) Terrence Nunn. So we did make plays, and really countered what they were doing in that respect. I thought it was a good balance. I thought the players did a good job of blocking when we had to. There were some tough situations when we were backed up. But overall I thought it was pretty good."

On whether you thought you had control with the score at 24-12
"I did. I felt that if we could put another one on the board, and if we could increase the lead in the second half, that would really put us ahead. But the fumble off the (play) setup by (junior quarterback) Zac Taylor, and then of course I think they missed that extra point so it was only six (points on the scoreboard). And then we came back and then we kicked off and then we didn't have the ball properly, and that cost us because then we ended up with a safety I belive on the second or third play after that kickoff. So we gave them eight points right there. But nonetheless, we responded to it, and that diminished quickly. So we had to come back from behind one more time, and I'm really proud of everyone who did that."

On freshman placekicker Jordan Congdon
"Yeah I was really proud of him. I guess he set a freshman record today for the most made kicks. I'm really proud of his efforts and what he did today. Boy I tell you what, I told him, 'I apologize.' I think I'm the first head coach that iced him before his kick. It's humorous now, but on the field everything was being rushed, and I didn't like the way it was being set up. I wanted to kill more clock before we booted it, and we weren't able to get that conveyed and communicated. I saw the players rushing on and running off, and I saw a little bit of disorginization. So I took the timeout; we had one more to burn. I just wanted to make sure our protection was set and braced, and that we had the proper personnel in there at the end of the game. And then (freshman place kicker) Jordan Congdon, (junior long snapper) Lane Kelly and (senior punter) Sam Koch, I thought they all did a magnificent job, with the snap-hold-kick. The kick went through quick. It was knocked through the pipes with a lot of velocity. Of course, probably a 40 mile-per-hour wind, but what a tremendous job, just a tremendous job by those guys."

On whether that was the call for the swing-pass to (senior I-Back) Cory Ross for the second safety
"Yeah it is. It was a man coverage. When it gets locked up in man-to-man and the I-Back comes out, that particular route is designed to beat man-to-man in the endzone. I don't know if (junior quarterback) Zac (Taylor) had great vision on it, he could talk to you about that. We talked about it on the sidelines. It's tough. He's got a lot of heat in his face, and he's trying to get the ball off and prevent a hold, a safety, or a sack himself. He's just trying to make a quick-pass decision. He didn't see the linebacker come underneath him, and lock up (senior I-Back) Cory (Ross) man-to-man. That happened, and it was a good learning experience in that respect."

On whether you considered being more conservative with the game plan when you put in freshman quarterback Harrison Beck
"No. No I did not. We just ran the offense. We had total confidence and belief in his abilities. I learned a long time ago, when a young quarterback comes in the game, he has to prove to you what he can't do. So I just continued to call the offense the way we call it. I have tremendous confidence in his abilities, and that was proven in that last drive."