Gill focused on Buffalo's big game, not Nebraska speculation Print
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Tuesday, 30 October 2007 12:19
NCAAF Headline News

 AMHERST, N.Y. (AP) -When Turner Gill responds to talk about him being a candidate to take over at Nebraska, the Buffalo coach sounds a lot like his players.
If it's not about the resurgent Bulls' big game at Miami, Ohio, this weekend, and an opportunity to potentially clinch their first Mid-American Conference East Division title, there's no point in discussing it.
``I know it's out there, and that's about it,'' Gill said Tuesday.
The former Cornhuskers star quarterback and assistant coach was referring to the speculation that has grown ever since his former coach and close friend Tom Osborne took over as Nebraska's interim athletic director two weeks ago.
``But I've got enough things going on in my mind to do my job here,'' Gill said. ``My heart and soul are here to bring this program excellence.''
He's well on his way to doing that, having accomplished something no one previously thought possible. In two seasons, Gill has turned around a Bulls program that had gone 10-69 before his arrival.
The Bulls (4-5, 4-1) have already set a season-high for wins and sit atop the East standings at 3-0, ahead of second-place Miami (2-1). With a win at Miami and a Bowling Green loss this weekend, the Bulls would clinch the division title and face the West winner in the conference championship game at Detroit on Dec. 1.
Gill's success in his first stint as head coach is not going unnoticed and is the reason he is being mentioned as a potential successor should Osborne dismiss coach Bill Callahan. The Cornhuskers (4-5, 1-4 Big 12) have lost two games since Osborne took over and led to Callahan openly discussing his uncertain future.
Though Gill wouldn't say when he last spoke with Osborne, he noted the two have always stayed in touch.
``That's always been there and still has been,'' Gill said.
Osborne has maintained he'll wait until the end of the season to make a decision on the coaching staff.
Gill is more than familiar with Nebraska, where he was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 1983, and then spent 13 years as an assistant coach. He took over at Buffalo last season after spending a year with the Green Bay Packers as the team's director of player development and offensive assistant.
Since arrive at Buffalo, Gill has pushed all the right buttons. In particular, he has the Bulls offense on a roll since taking over the play-calling duties this year.
The Bulls' 216 points scored are five short of the school record set last season. Quarterback Drew Willy leads the MAC with a 67.2 completion percentage and ranks third with a 134.8 efficiency rating. Running back James Starks is tied for second with 12 touchdowns.
Even Buffalo's defense is producing - ranked third in the MAC in allowing 169.2 yards - despite starting three freshmen defensive backs.
Five MAC wins in Gill's two seasons are two fewer than the Bulls had in their seven years, but he deflects the credit saying, ``It's not just about me. It's about our staff.''
And he goes out of his way to insist his job at Buffalo is not nearly complete.
``I understand how this thing goes. You can be that close and it doesn't happen,'' Gill said. ``So, until you're finished it isn't finished. I need all the energy I can get and get this thing done for the University at Buffalo program.''
 

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