It is difficult to say that a coach should be fired before he has finished his first season, and I am normally a reserved fan who tries to be upbeat and keep a positive outlook. But, this has gone on long enough. Mike Riley might be a good coach, and from what everybody says he is a true gentleman. And after the volatile Pelini years a nice guy is a welcome change of pace, he needs to win, though, and he needs to win soon.
As each game unfolds and the passes fall embarrassingly to the ground a creeping thought enters the mind. Why don’t they run the ball more? Why are there so many passes on first down, why are there so many passes on second and short? Why are there so many passes in the waning minutes of the game when they need to protect a tiny, precarious lead?
Today Ryker Fyfe started his first college game, he had only thrown 18 passes in his college career, and the coaching staff had him flinging the ball around like John Elway. He threw for four hundred yards, and four touchdowns, and four interceptions. Why would you expect a young man with so little experience to carry such a disproportionate share of the load? After the fastest receiver on the team got hurt and left the game it didn’t change. Passing, throwing, and heaving.
It has been the overwhelming story of the season, too many passes from an offense that was built torun. Too many big plays given up by the defense, that is better than they are being coached to look. Too many troubling things, too often.
Bo Pelini is gone, and he was probably given a few too many seasons. So that argument is mute. But, we should not repeat the mistakes of the past. Callahan lasted too long, Pelini lasted too long, and Riley is starting to skate on thin ice. Too many times Nebraska fans have been treated to this movie, loss after loss, piling up in a molehill of humiliation. It should not be allowed to grow into a mountain.
Difficult decisions need to be made, but athletic directors are paid to decide. Eichorst engineered this nightmare, and it falls on him to end it. Can Riley change his stripes, and his coordinators and win some games running the ball and winning the battle at the line of the scrimmage? Or does he need to be replaced. Something has to give, something has to change, someone has to go. Eichorst needs to fix it, or he needs to go.