LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- This was no way to impress the new boss.
Days after Tom Osborne took charge of Nebraska football, coach
Bill Callahan's Cornhukers were blown out for the third consecutive
week, this time by Texas A&M.
Using a triple-option offense reminiscent of the one Osborne
employed during his Hall of Fame coaching career, the Aggies ran
over Nebraska 36-14 on Saturday.
The Huskers (4-4, 1-3) have been outscored 122-34 during their
three-game losing streak to Missouri, Oklahoma State and A&M. It's
the third three-game losing streak in four seasons under coach
Callahan, who had the heat ratcheted up on him after athletic
director Steve Pederson was fired this week.
"Obviously, we're hurting again," Callahan said. "It's a very
tough ballgame to swallow."
Osborne, who will wait until the end of the season to decide
whether Callahan stays or goes, told the players in the locker room
that he thought they played hard. The difference in the game,
Osborne said, was that the Huskers were minus-three on turnovers.
"When you have turnovers like that, it gives you the impression
that it's worse than it was," Osborne said. "The effort was
better. I actually was encouraged."
Many in the crowd of 84,473 wore T-shirts commemorating
Osborne's return to the athletic department, 10 years after
finishing his Hall of Fame coaching career. The shirts read: "T.O.
Texas A&M won for the first time in six visits to Lincoln since
1955 and spoiled what Huskers fans hopes would be a day of
The Aggies, blown out by Miami and Texas Tech in their two
previous road games, responded after Nebraska (4-4, 1-3) pulled
within two points and at least temporarily took some heat off their
embattled coach, Dennis Franchione.
After carrying a heavy workload, McGee needed assistance walking
off the field at the end of the game. He also required intravenous
fluids after setting a school record for number of carries by a
"I'm definitely sore right now. I need some rest," McGee said.
"There's no better feeling than you give it your all and come off
that field victorious."
Lane said, "The only advice I can give [McGee] is drink a lot
of water and get a lot of sleep."
A&M opened the third quarter with two 80-yard touchdown drives,
with Lane finishing both for a 30-14 lead. Then its defense held
the Huskers scoreless after they drove inside the 10-yard line.
McGee did a pretty good impersonation of Nebraska 1997 national
champion quarterback Scott Frost.
Nebraska's linebackers bit hard on fake handoffs to Lane,
allowing McGee to pick up big chunks of yardage.
"They didn't have an answer for it all day," McGee said.
McGee ran seven consecutive times on the Aggies' first series of
the second half.
"When they can't stop something," Franchione said, "you're
going to make them do it until their nose bleeds."
Lane was the change-up on the eighth play, breaking off a
career-long 31-yard run before scoring from the 2.
"I could have driven my car through the holes I was given,'
The Huskers were in position to get back in the game with the
30-14. On third-and-goal from the 6, Sam Keller didn't spot Todd Peterson open in the back of the end zone and was thrown for a
3-yard loss. Keller's fourth-down pass was tipped away.
Lane's 1-yard run late in the fourth finished the scoring.
McGee completed 13 of 22 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown.
Keller was 26-of-44 for 275 yards, with Marlon Lucky catching 13
for 125 yards.
Nebraska had pulled to within 16-14 late in the second quarter
after driving 79 yards in nine plays, scoring on Keller's 10-yard
pass to Purify.
Callahan invited offensive coordinator Shawn Watson to come down
from the press box and join him on the sidelines. The two shared
play-calling duties, and Callahan spent additional time working
with the defense.
Osborne, who attended two practices this week and met with
Callahan twice, said he did not suggest the change.
"I'm not telling anyone how to coach. That's their province,"
Osborne said. "I'll do anything I can to help them."