OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos said Tuesday night his comment about coaches Urban Meyer of Ohio State and Jim Harbaugh of Michigan “running a little bit scared” following coach Scott Frost’s arrival in Lincoln was “a bit tongue in cheek.”
In an appearance at an Omaha Press Club luncheon earlier in the day, Moos said Frost would need time to turn around the Cornhuskers, who were 4-8 last season, but better days are ahead.
Moos added, according to the Omaha World-Herald, “You’ve got Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh thinking, ‘We better put a little more into that Nebraska game coming up.’ And that’s the way we want it. They’re running a little bit scared right now. And they won’t admit it. We’ll leave that at that.”
The remark set off a run of sarcastic replies from Big Ten fans and media on Twitter.
Asked in the evening if he stood by his comment, Moos wrote in a text to The Associated Press, “A bit tongue in cheek. Meant to point out that the competition is aware that there’s a renewed energy at Nebraska and we aim to get back in the hunt.”
Nebraska visits Michigan on Sept. 22 and Ohio State on Nov. 3.
The defending Big Ten champion Buckeyes beat Nebraska 56-14 in Lincoln last year and 62-3 in Columbus in 2016.
Nebraska is 2-1 against Michigan since entering the Big Ten in 2011, with the Wolverines coached by Brady Hoke in each of those games.
The Huskers have not won a conference championship since 1999, when they were in the Big 12, and lost 70-31 to Wisconsin in 2012 in their only appearance in the Big Ten title game.