Charting Wyoming – One Back Gun Makes Its Return

For the most part, Wyoming went just as we discussed last week.  The Cowboys hung around for a while, selling out to stop the run for as long as they could before Nebraska’s perimeter players and Tommy Armstrong took over.  Major hat tip to the Blackshirts as well, who came through with the first 5 turnover performance since Idaho in 2010.

Though the aggregate numbers were perfectly balanced against the Cowboys, Nebraska put it to Wyoming through the air early in the first half.  The Huskers hit four passes of at least 28 yards in the first half, with two of them going for 50+.  That’s what happens when you don’t have anyone more than 8 yards off the line of scrimmage for a substantial portion of the game.  Play both safeties down long enough and you can stuff the run, but you’re going to get burned through the air if you don’t have talent to match the other team’s receivers man to man.  You also better tackle well because there is no deep support.

Let’s take a look at what did and didn’t work for Nebraska this game.

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Scouting Wyoming – Defense

For as many wrinkles as Wyoming’s offense throws at teams, its defense takes a more straightforward approach.  It’s not simple by any means, but the Cowboys don’t beat teams on defense by rolling safeties after the snaps, playing exotic coverages, or dialing up pressure all game.  Instead, it’s a what you see is what you get approach, founded on a solid unit full of guys who know their assignments and try to beat blocks to execute them.  Let’s take a look at what Wyoming likes to do conceptually.

(My apologies for the video distortion in some of the clips.  With the weather in Laramie that night, the video feed was less than ideal.) Continue reading “Scouting Wyoming – Defense”

Scouting Wyoming – Offense

Now that we’re in real time during the season, I’ll be posting a weekly scouting write up where I take a look at Nebraska’s upcoming opponent.  For the non-conference opponents and those from the Big 10 East, we’ll take a broader look at what to expect schematically from their offense and defense.  For division opponents who we see every year, we’ll take a deeper dive into that year’s particular personnel and the strengths and weaknesses of those players.

This week we start with Wyoming, a Craig Bohl team coming off a triple overtime win against Northern Illinois.  I’ve embedded gifs of Wyoming’s offense against Northern Illinois, but many of the hyperlinks in the post will also take you to additional cutups of the Cowboys offense .  Let’s see what the Fighting Bohls have to offer. Continue reading “Scouting Wyoming – Offense”

Fresno State – New Year, New Looks

Game 1 of a new football season.  No better day of the year.  Your team hasn’t lost yet, you’ve spent all summer sipping on Kool-Aid while turning every player on your team into an All American, and your coaches can do no wrong.  Then game time hits, you get a punt blocked, drop a routine hand off on a jet sweep, mix in a few untimely penalties, and suddenly you’re in a first half battle with Fresno State.

Thankfully the Husker offense not only settled down in the second half, but made some timely adjustments to take advantage of Fresno State’s overly aggressive defensive fronts.  Let’s take a look at a few of the things the offense got done, as well as our first peek at Banker’s 2016 pressure package.

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Charting Fresno State – Tight Ends. Everywhere.

Nebraska-Fresno State wasn’t the prettiest game to watch for one half.  For the most part Nebraska tried to run a bastardized version of the UCLA game plan.  Heavy, diverse run game with a substantial role for Tommy Armstrong’s legs.  A key penalty, plus a DPE fumble, killed what otherwise could have been a productive scoring first half.

In the second half, Nebraska made some nice adjustments and generally cleaned up the mental mistakes.  When they did, Nebraska owned Fresno State’s front 7 with a large helping of extra tight ends.  Let’s see how the Husker offense did it over their 63 offensive plays.

Continue reading “Charting Fresno State – Tight Ends. Everywhere.”

UCLA – Living that Two-Back Lifestyle

If, like many other Husker fans, you like to see two backs behind the Nebraska quarterback, the UCLA game was for you.  Of Nebraska’s 80 plays, 35 of them (44%) involved some version of a two-back formation paired with Tommy Armstrong’s own run threat.   There was also no surprise on Langsdorf’s part, as he sent the message early on with extra backs that he didn’t think UCLA could stop his rushing attack.

A large part of that was the personnel mismatch between UCLA’s front 7 defenders and Andy Janovich as both a runner and a blocker.  UCLA didn’t have an answer for Jano in either respect.  Another part of that was the ability to create motion out of the backfield while freeing up Tommy Armstrong to do his thing on the Read play.

In this post, let’s take a look at three very different ways that Nebraska employed their two-back personnel, as well as a passing concept they continually went to against UCLA.

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Charting UCLA – We’ll Do What We Want

Nebraska-UCLA was an offensive beat down.  No other way about it.  Nebraska had 5 first half drives with time on the clock.  They scored a touchdown on 3 of them.  One ended with a red zone fumble (after an uncalled defensive face mask) and the last was a punt.  6 second half drives.  2 touchdowns, 1 field goal, 2 late punts and 1 ended by the final whistle.

It really didn’t matter what Nebraska ran because UCLA couldn’t stop it.  Inside Zone, Outside Zone, QB Draw/Counter, Power/Counter, Lead Draw, Jet Sweep, Fullback Dive all got play.  And they came out of a large dose of 2 back sets, with 32 of 62 carries coming from 21, 22 and 23 personnel.  Some of these came from Split Back shotgun formations, while others came from various iterations of the I Formation.  Let’s take a deeper look.

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