Southern Miss – Return of the Fullback

As we discussed in the last post, Southern Miss was the game where Nebraska fans (and coaches) really discovered what they had been missing the last three years with Andy Janovich.  Langsdorf featured Jano in all facets of the Southern Miss game, as a ball carrier, lead blocker and a receiver on play action.  When NFL Scouts cued up Andy Janovich’s game film before the draft, there is no doubt that the Southern Miss game played a large part in their evaluations.

Let’s take a look at two key plays featuring Jano, including a shout out to the old /3436 Trap from TO’s day, as well one of Nebraska’s many special plays. Continue reading “Southern Miss – Return of the Fullback”


Charting Southern Miss – Hello Jano!

Former Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck once said that fullbacks were dead in modern football.  In a year where Wisconsin rushed for 581 yards against Nebraska and finished 15 spots ahead of Beck’s unit on the yearly rushing list.  Oddly enough, Andy Janovich was also on Tim Beck’s roster that year.  True to Beck’s words, Jano didn’t get a single carry.

Thankfully for Janovich, Beck was off ruining Ohio State’s MNC run in 2016 and new coaches Riley and Langsdorf were exhuming the fullback much to the delight of Nebraska fans.  In the Southern Miss game, Jano was featured heavily in both the running and passing game.

Continue reading “Charting Southern Miss – Hello Jano!”


Miami – Power/Counter, a Fullback Sighting, and 2-Point Conversions

Despite the Miami game being a general cluster the point that the offensive game plan was out the window by the second quarter, Nebraska did show a few new looks that were successful.  In this write up, we’ll take a look at Nebraska’s Counter OH Read play, the appearance of the Cross/Janovich combination in a Wing T on short yardage, and a dip into Nebraska’s bag of two-point conversion plays. Continue reading “Miami – Power/Counter, a Fullback Sighting, and 2-Point Conversions”


Charting Miami – A Game of Ugly

The Miami game was not Nebraska’s finest, either from an efficiency standpoint or in terms of offensive balance.  A porous defense coupled with early penalties and untimely drops put Nebraska well behind at the half, and an early Miami TD in the third quarter forced Nebraska to rely too much on passing the ball in the second half to catch up.

Even in the early going, though, Nebraska had relatively little success running their base run plays.  Let’s take a look at what did and did not work for Nebraska.

(Editor’s Note: For those of you who like to slow down the GIFs or play them frame-by-frame, I’ve now added hot links before each GIF that take you to a separate page where you can pause or play them frame-by-frame and also expand them to full screen mode.)

Continue reading “Charting Miami – A Game of Ugly”


Inside Zone Part I – Guest Post

One of the interesting things about football strategy is that even among the most basic plays, there are often wildly different ways to coach them.  To give you a bit of that flavor, I’ve asked other writers to occasionally provide guest posts to the blog.  Most of these guest writers have coached or played in Nebraska, though I’m always open to contributors from beyond the Good Life.  

Today’s guest post is part of a series dedicated to the inside zone play.  We’ve covered this play in the abstract, but for you guys and girls who really want to know the nuts and bolts of it, I wanted to dive a little bit deeper into the blocking scheme itself.  Enter guest poster Ryan Reuter, a Gretna Dragon who was stuck with me for most of this year’s Big Red Coaches Clinic.  After the jump, Ryan breaks down the basics of the inside zone play.  You can harass him on Twitter @Hoss_Reuter if you want more information.

Continue reading “Inside Zone Part I – Guest Post”


Charting the South Alabama Game

The South Alabama game was all about inside zone runs and a ton of different motions.  Nebraska showed 4 different inside zone variants, 1 option, 6 outside zone plays, 1 QB Power Sweep, 4 Power/Counter plays, and 3 jet sweeps.  Within those, let’s take a look at how Langsdorf and Riley established the run to the tune of 37 carries for 258 yards. Continue reading “Charting the South Alabama Game”


Taking Requests – 2015 Season Edition

First, as you’ll note the address for the site has changed to  You should automatically be forwarded from the old URL, but if anybody is having issues, let me know and I’ll look into it.

Second, while I work through the 2015 film over the next couple of months, let me know if you have any requested areas you’d like me to focus on.  With the base stuff soon-to-be-complete from the BYU, South Alabama, Miami and Southern Miss games, my plan is to hit each game from that point on with any new looks that we showed, offensively and defensively.  That said, if you want to take a look at specific players or revisit offensive or defensive concepts (QB run game, zone pressure coverages, etc.), drop a comment in one of the posts and I’ll get some tape up.

Finally, I’ve spoken to a couple of you offline about this, but I’m always open to guest posts from Nebraska high school coaches or others in that region.  Could be about schemes you use, could be drills, hell, it could be how you go about managing your practices to get the most out of them.  I envision this whole project as a resource not just for Nebraska fans to learn about the Huskers, but also as a coaching resource to pool the collective knowledge of those coaches who will hopefully send kids to Nebraska down the line.  If you have something you’d like to discuss or share, drop your email in with a comment and I’ll follow up with you.

Opening press conference for Spring Ball.  What a great time of the year. 


Blackshirts Blitz Package – South Alabama

Against South Alabama, Nebraska fans got their first extended look at Mark Banker’s blitz package.  Perhaps feeling comfortable with the match up between the Blackshirt DBs and South Alabama’s receivers, Banker ran a lot of Cover 0 and 1 Pressures and also mixed in some fire zones as well.  Although the box score only showed 2 sacks for Nebraska, the Blackshirts were able to generate consistent pressure all game long from bringing extra men and asking their DBs to win on the outside.  Let’s take a look at a couple of Nebraska’s 6-man pressures from that game. Continue reading “Blackshirts Blitz Package – South Alabama”


Nebraska’s Outside Zone and Variants – South Alabama

Because inside zone targets the interior DL and LBs, defenses will start to overreact to it after a few times of being gashed in the middle.  Once Riley and Langsdorf see this happening, they mix it up with outside zone (“OZ”).  OZ is also known as the “stretch” play.  Unlike the vertically hitting inside zone play, OZ is about horizontal displacement: move the defensive line and linebackers toward the sideline and make them maintain their gap integrity.  Once a hole opens up in their front, stick your foot in the ground and get vertical.  This type of blocking isn’t new to Nebraska; Osborne and Tenopir frequently blocked their option runs with it, and of course Bill Callahan loved that god damn stretch play against USC.

Nebraska runs a couple of different versions of OZ depending on the game plan for the week and the fronts they see from the defense.  In this post, let’s look at two of them: (1) standard OZ; and (2) the Pin and Pull.

Continue reading “Nebraska’s Outside Zone and Variants – South Alabama”