pistol-armstrong

Let’s Talk Langsdorf and the Pistol Formation

One of the new things we saw offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf roll out this year was the Pistol formation.  It first made an appearance in the Illinois game for a solitary play, but as the year went on, we started to see more and more Pistol looks from the Huskers, including the opening play of overtime against Wisconsin.

Because I suspect the Huskers will roll out some Pistol looks against the Tennesee Volunteers in the Music City Bowl, let’s take a look at what exactly the Pistol formation is and how Nebraska has used it thus far in 2016. Continue reading “Let’s Talk Langsdorf and the Pistol Formation”

stanley

Charting Iowa – FULLBACK RUNS!

Let’s go ahead and skip the final score to get to what really matters:

FB Dive.gif

We probably should stop right there because never has a 1.01-yard gain looked better. Poetry in motion, so much so that we ran it one more time for another 1.01-yard gain.

Unfortunately, we also had 66 other plays, and the nature of this whole charting thing is we have to account for them.  So with that, let’s get this sad, rickety show on the road.

Continue reading “Charting Iowa – FULLBACK RUNS!”

tre-bryant

Charting Maryland – Seniors Go Out in Style

2012.  Until this year, that was the last time Nebraska ran the table at home.  Before that, you have to go all the way back to 2001 to find another Husker team that held serve at Memorial Stadium for an entire year.  That’s a pretty impressive accomplishment for this year’s team, and they capped it off this weekend on Senior Day with a heavy contribution from that senior class.

Some of it was expected, and some of it certainly was not.  As he’s done most of 2016, Terrell Newby closed his career in Memorial Stadium in productive fashion, rushing 22 times for 98 yards and 3 TDs.  Jordan Westerkamp snagged 8 receptions for 85 yards and a TD, and seniors Brandon Reilly, Alonzo Moore, and Cethan Carter chipped in another 9 catches for 78 yards.  And of course there was the man of the hour, Ryker Fyfe.  It came against Maryland, but Fyfe’s workmanlike 220 yards passing along with 1 TD is no small feat for a guy who spent much of the last five years watching from the sideline.  Anytime you can win with your backup QB, you’re doing something right.

And most importantly, the senior class has put itself in position to be the first senior class since the Class of 2006 to win 11 games in a year.  Find a way to beat the Hawkeyes and then close the show in a bowl game.  That is a long way from where we were last year at this time.  Let’s take a look at how we got there in the Maryland game.

Continue reading “Charting Maryland – Seniors Go Out in Style”

newby

Charting Minnesota – Too Many Athletes in Red

Welcome back Jerald Foster and Tanner Farmer.  These two major parts of Nebraska’s offensive provided much need relief from the struggles that have marked the last few weeks.  Though by no means was this an explosive offense performance against the Gophers, it was largely an efficient one, with the Husker offense rushing for 4.91 YPC and throwing for 7.8 YPA.  That’s the highest YPC that Minnesota has allowed this year and the third highest YPA as well.  On the Nebraska side of the ledger, that was also our second highest YPC in conference play and third on the year

How did Nebraska do it?  By getting back to more balance in the run game, attacking both inside and on the perimeter, along with a large dose of working the ball out to the Savage Professionals in space on screens.  Add it up, package it with a dominant second half from the Blackshirts, and you end up with a 24-17 win in a game where Nebraska played the backup QB a notable number of snaps.  It’s not great, but I’ll certainly take it.

Continue reading “Charting Minnesota – Too Many Athletes in Red”

offense

Ohio State – Lost in the Abyss

The good news is the election is over.  The bad news is I’m still not done re-living the Ohio State game on this site.  I thought about skipping a play breakdown this week, but offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf, in what was otherwise a wasted game, showed three new looks we haven’t seen this year. So this week we’ll take a look at a couple of new running plays to try and take some of the heat off the offensive line, as well as a new passing concept designed to get Jordan Westerkamp the ball.

Continue reading “Ohio State – Lost in the Abyss”

burrow

Charting Ohio State – Next Game Please

Woah.  I said before the game that I didn’t think Ohio State was a great match up for Nebraska and that I wouldn’t be shocked to see Urban step on the gas, but I didn’t see it being 62-3 bad.  Though inflated a bit from playing Ryker Fyfe for so long, Nebraska was never in that game from the first minute.  Just complete and utter destruction (no pun intended) by the Buckeyes.

We’ve discussed for the last few weeks how the wheels were falling off the Huskers’ offense because of line issues and injuries, and to a lesser extent, steadily regressing QB play that seemed anchored to that nosediving offensive line.  The Ohio State game was more of the same, but unlike the Badgers, Boilermakers, Hoosiers and Illini, the Buckeyes had offensive talent and a College Football Playoff committee to impress.  

Chalk it up to an unfavorable match up, one team playing its best game in a month, and the other playing its worst game of the year.  When that happens with the current talent discrepancy between the two teams, it gets ugly fast.  In any event, let’s look at what worked for Nebraska, which was pretty much nothing.

Continue reading “Charting Ohio State – Next Game Please”

freedom-and-mri

Wisconsin – Dusting Off a Couple of Old Friends

Wisconsin was the type of game on which you don’t usually do offensive write ups.  305 total yards, 3.5 yards per carry, and a 39% completion rate don’t exactly rate high on the excitement meter.  That said, I’ve got to write about something, and while the Blackshirts would be the obvious choice because of their stellar performance, there simply weren’t enough All 22 shots to make that viable this week.

So off we go with the offense.  The Wisconsin game saw us bring back a friendly play from the Taylor Martinez Era (oh boy), and it also saw us continually work from Bunch and Tight formations to take advantage of natural rubs in the passing game.  In this post, we’ll take a look at the repackaging of Nebraska’s Inverted Veer play, along with the Mesh and Spacing concepts we used to give Tommy Armstrong (allegedly) easy throws on key downs.

Continue reading “Wisconsin – Dusting Off a Couple of Old Friends”

westerkamp

Charting Wisconsin – All Good Things Must End

We’ve talked about how the Nebraska offense has largely danced on razor’s edge the last few games, as injuries have played a substantial role in bringing a once formidable ground game to a crashing halt.  They found ways to survive those injuries against Northwestern, Illinois, Indiana and Purdue, but the Badgers brought a top 10 defense into the game (though nursing its own injuries) and it wasn’t meant to be.

What played out against Wisconsin was simply a more exacerbated version of what we’ve seen since the competition got a little better and we got less healthy.  Difficulty getting any consistency with the inside zone game, and an inability to get consistent pass protection or accuracy from the QB spot in the passing game.  Those two things, coupled with some excellent defense from Wisconsin, added up to a meager 305 total yards and 17 points.

The Nebraska offensive line was licking its wounds and somehow got even less healthy with the early loss of Tanner Farmer, so let’s take a look at what they tried to change against the Badgers to overcome those issues.

Continue reading “Charting Wisconsin – All Good Things Must End”

nick-gates

Purdue – Let’s Talk Offensive Line and Terrell Newby

We’re going to switch up the format a bit this week.  Nebraska’s offense didn’t show more than a couple of new things against Purdue and what it did show was largely limited by the 1,500lb gorilla in the room: the Pipeline’s major struggles.  So rather than break down three plays as we usually do, we’re going to drill a bit deeper into where things are going wrong for Nebraska’s offensive line.

We’ll also take a quick look at the main man running behind them, Terrell Newby.  Despite the offensive line’s struggles, Newby has managed to put up two 100-yard games in his last three and a combined 324 yards and 3 rushing touchdowns.  How?  Mostly by making a lot out of nothing, and also by logging big runs when the line does open up holes.  Newby doesn’t have eye popping stats, with only 511 yards on 103 carries for the year (4.96 YPC).  But given the issues up front, he’s saved Nebraska’s offense from completely shutting down.  And with the line issues not going away anytime soon, he’ll need to have an efficient game against Wisconsin if the Huskers want to put up points.

Continue reading “Purdue – Let’s Talk Offensive Line and Terrell Newby”

langsdorf

Charting Purdue – Slogging Through It

I mentioned way back in the Wyoming write up that I had pretty substantial concerns about the interior OL.  Unfortunately, with Nick Gates now working on one leg and David Knevel dealing with his own injuries, those concerns have now spread to the entire offensive line.  Not exactly what you want in October staring down the barrel at two straight games against top 15 teams.

There was no escaping that it was a complete s*^&show against Purdue for much of the game.  With 484 yards and 27 points, the overall numbers weren’t horrible.  But it’s how Nebraska reached those totals that is increasingly becoming the problem.  Nebraska’s inside zone series, the base of its entire run game, has started to go off the rails.  A bunch of plays going for 2 yards or less before finally popping one for big yards.  That makes the box score look good, but it also means a lot of punts until you bust one of those big runs.  Such is life with the state of Nebraska’s offensive line right now.

Let’s take a look at how Nebraska squeezed as much as it could out of its offense on Saturday against Purdue.

Continue reading “Charting Purdue – Slogging Through It”