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Pitching with Pritch PDF Print E-mail

A very Callahan-like game

By Larry Pritchett
Past PCHS activities director

Did you watch a lot of football this past weekend? I didn’t watch as much as I thought I would and that is thanks to the Huskers, but more on them later.
When they play at 10:00 in the morning and then play like they did in the third quarter, my temperament the rest of the day isn’t really one that cares to watch any more games.
I did, however, watch Alabama versus Texas A&M. This was a game that I could yell for both teams to lose and know I was going to be a little bit disappointed regardless of the outcome.
Nick Saban is a pretty good coach and that is an understatement, no doubt, and I know that I am judging him without knowing him, but he just reminds me of one of those guys that anytime you talk to him you would want to put your hand on your billfold.
A&M is A&M. I think the old saying that Will Rogers never met an Aggie sums it up. Just for any young readers, a Will Rogers quote is “I never met a man I didn’t like.”
Johnnie Manzel hasn’t helped any. Great player, but I can’t help but think he broke NCAA rules and has gotten away with it for the present time, and time will tell.
With all that I probably leaned more towards A&M because I had a niece graduate from there and I really like her. I am not sure she yells for them though.
Manzel did some amazing stuff but Bama, still won and might be on their way to a third straight national championship. That was the end of football for Saturday.
I watched the Husker ladies play volleyball against Iowa State on Saturday night. They are young, play hard, and are more disciplined than the football team, I think.
Back to the Huskers and the question, can a game turn completely around on one play and cause a team that has an 18-point lead to completely implode? It appears the answer is yes!
UCLA’s Brett Hundley’s third down and 12 scramble late in the second quarter where he picked up 13 yards must have killed the Husker spirit because they were never the same. UCLA went on to score on that drive and after the half the Huskers were only present at the game.
Both offense and defense were token at best. Nebraska had held UCLA to 206 yards at halftime and gave up 236 yards in the third quarter. They gave up 28 points in the quarter, a record for points against the Huskers in one quarter. That is right up there with Billy Callahan’s time at NU and some of the negative records he set. UCLA ended up with over 500 yards on offense.
Coaches keep saying it comes down to execution and they are correct, but after a while you would like to see improvement in execution. When the Huskers go dead in big games, they really do it big time. The 70-31 loss in the Big Ten Championship last year and a 60-38 loss to Ohio State, 45-17 to Michigan, and another loss to Wisconsin 48-17.
The offense wasn’t any better and a slew of really dumb penalties. I know it takes time to realize that the game is closer to touch football at times anymore, but the days of knocking the quarterback silly after he throws the ball, or cracking the receiver if the ball is over his head are pretty much over. Apparently, we didn’t get the memo to everyone.
I know that officials are guys that everyone thinks are blind and stupid, but most of the time they are pretty much right on the nose.
Maybe when they miss whether a field goal is good or not and have that overturned might be a little embarrassing, but most of the time they are right. Now that comes from a guy who has done his share of yelling at officials, but if you chew on them all the time, you won’t get many breaks. I did learn some things over the 100 years of coaching.
Anyway, the fans will be upset, the media will be relentless and Bo will be probably even shorter with the media than usual, but hope springs eternal and maybe by the time the Big Ten season starts things will have improved.     Always there is hope!
See you at the games.