Tom Shatel: Give Me the Headset!

Memo to the NCAA Division I football rules committee: Put some red flags in the budget for next season.

The NFL does replay right. It gives the coaches the option to throw a red flag on the field if they want a play to get reviewed. If they lose the review, they lose a timeout. If they win it, they keep the timeout.

College football should do the same. Right now, college coaches don't have the red flag option. They can burn a timeout and hope big brother in the press box takes the hint. Exhibit A: After Zac Taylor's third-quarter touchdown pass to Terrence Nunn, which Nunn caught close to the ground, Michigan had to call timeout as a "hint" to get the officials to review it.

It worked. The officials overruled the score, saying a replay angle showed the ball bounced on the ground.

Unfortunately for Michigan, it didn't get the timeout back, as it would have in the NFL. But it did get four points taken off the board.

Exhibit B: Late in the game, leading NU 28-25, Michigan coach Lloyd Carr called his last timeout after quarterback Chad Henne was charged with a fumble that was recovered by NU. Replays showed his arm possibly going forward during the hit. However, the review upheld the call.

Sometimes you get one, sometimes you don't.

With more starting linebackers on the sideline than on the field, the pressure was on the NU defensive line to deliver. It did, and then some. The tackles and ends were terrific, and Ola Dagunduro in particular was impressive.

Kudos to defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove, who got his patchwork defense through a major test, and rotated his tackles and ends like hockey lines.

Zac Taylor wasn't Colorado good, but he played well enough to win. Taylor had two early interceptions on poor throws, but he shook off the most vicious hits of the season on his battered body to lead the comeback.

At one point, though, I'm sure even Taylor was hoping Callahan would go back to Cory Ross and the running game to keep the Michigan heat off Taylor. Finally, Callahan did. And it paid off.

What a great way for Ross to go out, by the way, with 161 yards, a touchdown and offensive MVP honors. The team surely drew from Ross' guts and determination to win this one.

Eight wins was a great season for Nebraska, considering the injuries and personnel deficiencies. If NU can shore up the secondary and offensive line by next fall, a run to Kansas City and the Big 12 championship game is in order.

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Jan 29, 2008 6:20 pm
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