Coach Bill Callahan Postgame Quotes

Nebraska Postgame Quotes
vs. Texas A&M
Saturday, Oct. 20, 2007
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)

Bill Callahan
Nebraska Head Coach

Opening Statement (Audio)
"Obviously, we’re hurting again. It’s a very tough ballgame to swallow. Our kids played with a better effort from a week ago, but not enough to sustain a performance to the expectation that we expect in the second half. I thought there were some opportunities out there to capitalize that we just didn’t quite click on and take advantage of, especially when it comes to turnovers. I thought that really made a difference when you go minus-three in the turnover game. It really hurt us, and it hurt our opportunities to sustain momentum at crucial times. With that being said, it just wasn’t enough today. Our kids are hurting; they’re down. We’re just going to have to rally them and get prepared for next week against Texas."

On Shawn Watson’s role as a playcaller today (Audio)
"What I wanted to do was bring (offensive coordinator Shawn) Shawn downstairs to be with Sam (Keller) a little bit more. We wanted to bring Coach Watson down so he could spend time with the offense and really get them together from the aspect of motivating them, keeping them together, enhancing the communication while I was down with the defense. I tried to be much more involved with the defense on that side of the ball today. We shared some playcalling."

On quarterback Sam Keller (Audio)
"I don’t think it was his best game. I’m sure there are some throws he’d love to have back. He made some tough throws, but overall, I think if you asked him, I think he’d tell you he’d want to be a little bit better than what he was."

On the team facing distractions this week (Audio)
"The kids came out with a lot of energy this week. I’m really proud of them and how they handled that. They rallied and they came together and really tried to fight. As a coach, that’s all you ask your kids to do -- to come out and play with effort and play hard. I thought we improved that aspect, but it wasn’t enough."

On defending against Texas A&M’s offense (Audio)
"I thought the read option was tough. We had a tough time containing the quarterback and really doing a good job of making the plays on that phase of their game. They played a little bit more read option than they have in the past, but I thought they had a good blend of everything. They had the read, they had the regular speed options and things of that nature. We really didn’t close down the quarterback the way we should have on the read. We just have to do a better job getting off the blocks."

On making coaching switches (Audio)
"I was involved throughout the entire game. (Offensive coordinator) Shawn (Watson) and I were just sharing responsibilities in that respect. There was no difference from what transpires on a regular gameday when he’s up in the box. (Wide receivers coach) Ted (Gilmore) went upstairs and really evaluated coverage and things of that nature as we were charting their defense. I wanted Shawn downstairs so he could spend time with the offense and assist me with the playcalling duties.

"We haven’t made any final decisions on that. We just wanted to see how it worked today. We’ll see how it works out. We brought (graduate assistant coach) Jon Osterhaut down today on the defensive side. We’re trying to do everything we can to get these guys up and going and playing harder and better and trying to communicate with them more and show them attention throughout the game. I felt it was very important this game to bring everybody down and rally the troops as we competed today."

On Nebraska’s turnovers (Audio)
"We had our hands on a few passes today, and we didn’t make the plays. The biggest thing is not turning the ball over -- ball security is a huge issue. I thought in the first half we made some good stops on defense. I thought we had the ball in favorable positions when we fumbled, and I thought that would have created a short field. That hurts because you attain good field position -- whether it’s a punt or a run -- and when you lose that, it kills you. You turn the ball over, and you give their offense a short field to defend for our defense. It’s difficult. It’s challenging, especially when you’re struggling. It’s like giving a team an extra possession."

On becoming bowl eligible (Audio)
"We’re just going to do the best we can. We’re going to keep working. We want to go to a bowl. We want to be better. There’s an opportunity to get better in these next four games, so we’re going to do what we can to do that."