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Blackshirts, Special Teams Lead NU to Win

By NU Athletic Communications
Nebraska Head Coach Bill Callahan guided the Huskers into first place in the Big 12 North with a win over Missouri Saturday.
Nebraska Head Coach Bill Callahan guided the Huskers into first place in the Big 12 North with a win over Missouri Saturday.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Nebraska Head Coach Bill Callahan
Opening Comments:
I’d like to congratulate our team on a good performance today. I thought we came out energized and ready for the challenge and we certainly performed in that fashion today. A lot of credit goes to this entire team.

Mizzou has an outstanding quaterback, and to our defense’s credit, they came up and took a huge challenge to beat a team that we’ve got a lot of respect for.

On the Effects of the Fan Noise
I think that we all needed this game. To come into this week when we’re at home, I think our fans did an awesome job of getting our guys ready for the challenge. They were exciting, they were loud throughout the day. That noise was a critical factor for us. We could see [Brad] Smith having some problems audibilizing and it played into the emotion of our team and they fed off of it pretty well.

On the Punt Block
Bill Busch is doing an excellent job with special teams and today certainly proved that point.

We had two blocks, one by [Andrew] Shanle and the recovery by [Adam] Ickes that led to a score and then the other, there was a muffed snap and I thought we made an excellent play on the punter to put us in position to score on offense. Both of those scores against their punt team were huge.

On Cory Ross
Cory did a great job today and he capped it off with a big long run and a big-time cutback. It was a long run and big gain at a crucial time when we were trying to seal the game and he certainly did if for us today.

On the Game Plan
We went into today with a very simplistic game plan. It was nothing fancy. We ran essentially two defenses throughout the entire day and I think our players really had a great grasp of it.

I’m proud of their effort and energy more than the scheme. It’s not about X’s and O’s, it’s about the effort that they displayed. It was just a
great display of effort and energy out there on the field today. It was great to see our guys get out there and play the way they’re capable of playing.

On Defensive Confidence
They continue to search for the right answer and it takes time. They had a great grasp of the game plan and they were determined and they were focused and they went out and played one of their best games.

On the Effect of Having the 1994 Championship Team Present
I was inspired. Being around great players and being around champions inspires me. You want to live up to those types of team and you want to be that team in the future, and I think our players were trying to measure up throughout the day.

On the Offense and Joe Dailey
We didn’t turn the ball over and that’s crucial. We struggled on offense, make no doubt about that. We ran the ball at times well, but we weren’t as effective as we could have been in the passing game.

His demeanor was much better in the second half. He stood in there strong and tried to make some throws down the field and we just didn’t connect. The timing just wasn’t there and we have to continue to work hard at that element.

On the Big 12 North
It’s all out there for us. This is an opportunity to capture a lead and an opportunity to do something that we’ve talked about in terms of our goals. It’s an opportunity, but it’s one win, that’s all it is, just one win and we have to go back out there next week and do it again.

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