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Nebraska Alamo Bowl Quotes

By NU Athletic Communications
Nebraska Coach Bill Callahan will lead the Huskers to their 36th bowl game in the past 37 years at the Alamo Bowl.
Nebraska Coach Bill Callahan will lead the Huskers to their 36th bowl game in the past 37 years at the Alamo Bowl.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Nebraska Football
Coach Bill Callahan
Alamo Bowl Quotes
Sunday, Dec. 4, 2005

On being invited to play in the Alamo Bowl
“We are thrilled and excited to be coming down to the Alamo Bowl. I know our players are really excited and anxious to begin their preparations.”

On the match-up against Michigan
“I think our fans, and especially our players, will be excited about the match-up. With two classic traditional football teams, and two of the winningest football programs in the history of college football, colliding in Texas, it couldn’t be better. We are really anxious and excited about the match-up. We have tremendous respect for the University of Michigan’s program. I know a lot of guys from that staff, and a lot of guys from our current staff have Big Ten experience. I believe seven of the 10 assistants we have on board have Big Ten ties, so there is some familiarity in that respect.”

On the way his team finished the regular season
“We finished strong. The wins against Kansas State and Colorado at the end of the year were big for us as a team. We had a falter prior to that, but we rebounded strongly and in good fashion, and it culminated in the final game of the year against Colorado. I couldn’t have been more proud or pleased with the way our players performed in that particular game. We are a young football team. A lot of freshmen are getting experience, especially on the offensive side of the ball. They have blended well with the seniors that we have, so it will be an interesting game for us. It will be an opportunity for us to improve ourselves and measure ourselves against a very good Michigan football team.”

On his memories of Michigan from his days as a Wisconsin assistant coach
“I’ve always remembered Michigan as a solid football team across the board. They were fundamentally sound in everything that they did. Not only did they have good personnel, but they also had great coaching to go along with that. That’s always a good blend that made their success happen for them. As I look at my days playing them at Wisconsin, they were always sound. You had to earn everything you got against them. They weren’t going to give you anything, so you had to earn it. You had to coach through it, and you had to perform against it. There’s a variety of things that they will give you. They are very well schooled. They are on the cutting edge of everything that you see in football, both offensively and defensively. They always give you a good mix of things. They always are going to present you with a lot of different schemes and problems that you have to sort through and handle and adjust to through the course of a game. Aside from that, they were always a physical football team. I thought they always prided themselves on being physical and playing good team defense and offense. They are noted for that, and it was reflected by the way that they played, in their stats and in the success that they had.”

On his knowledge of Michigan’s current team
“I really don’t (have any information on Michigan). The only knowledge I have is from the information that we have pulled together off of statistics as we were preparing for different possibilities of opponents. I have not had an opportunity to see them play, but I know Lloyd (Carr) well, I know what he represents and that team will have a lot of fight in it. This is a good football team. They have always been well-regarded in terms of their offense. They have been very well-balanced, and that is reflected in the statistics that I am looking at right in front of me. They have a young quarterback in (Chad) Henne and a young running back in Michael Hart that are outstanding weapons for them, and Jason Avant is really an outstanding receiver with the production that he has accumulated this year. Defensively, they have always been noted for their scoring defense. They are a bend-but-don’t-break team. They will contest everything that you throw at them. They are sound, and you have to earn everything you get against them. It’s important that your ball is secure when you play a team like Michigan. You can’t turn it over. They really thrive off of that in their nature of play. Overall, they are solid across the board. They teach great fundamentals up there, they are well-schooled and well-coached. It’s just an outstanding program and an outstanding opponent to measure ourselves against.”

On how his staff prepared for an opponent this past week
“We didn’t do anything relative to preparation for any opponent. I didn’t know, and nobody knew, how this was going to play out. We just took it day by day, and tried to keep our ears to the buzz which was going on out there. We heard all kinds of scenarios, and today was the culmination of it. Having an opponent like Michigan will be a great, classic match-up for us. I know our team will be excited about this game, and I know our coaches will be excited just based on our experiences we’ve all had being former coaches in the Big Ten. I know we can teach all of our kids what to expect, because (Michigan) is a good football team. They’ve always been a good football team, I don’t care what year it is or what their record is. They’ve always produced an excellent club.”

On the similarities between Nebraska and Michigan
“This will be an interesting match-up. We’re very similar in terms of style. We’re both pro-(style) offenses, and both the same type of multiple defenses. There is that consistency from a systems perspective.”

On how his staff plans to approach the bowl trip
"We’re going to approach it with both thoughts (business and fun) in mind. First off, you have to prepare, you have to work and you have to improve. That’s what we talked about earlier during the season about capturing a bowl bid, so we would have the opportunity to improve our football team with the extra practices. With that being said, this is also a reward, a reward for our seniors and an opportunity for them to enjoy the bowl week once we get to San Antonio. We will still work hard, we will still prepare and we will still benefit from the practices that are going to take place here in the next three weeks. So we are excited about that, that we will be able to develop our team. We’ll get better. We’ll utilize those practices intelligently and we’ll get a lot of work in certain specific categories where we can focus in on all of the nuances of situation football like we always do, but specifically against the Michigan offense and defense.”

On the added positives of the bowl game for his program
“We think that the experience is invaluable, especially for our younger players. We think that they will benefit greatly from going out, practicing and utilizing time for fundamental development. We’ll alter the schedule where we’ll get a little more time to do that, and then we’ll get a little bit more time to focus on the team aspects and the situational aspects later on in the month. It is invaluable, especially for our time for where we’re at the players we have, to get that extra time to improve ourselves.”

On the positives of playing in the state of Texas
“Going down to San Antonio, where 10 of our players are from Texas on the roster, will provide us will another forum for Texas players to see our program, to give our program exposure in the state of Texas and for any high school coach in the area to come to our practices, to watch our players and sit down and have a dialogue with our coaches. I think it is invaluable in that respect, because we are making an emphasis in recruiting Texas, and this can only provide us with a better avenue of doing that.”

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