Concept Wednesday – Duo

For Concept Wednesday this week, we get our second guest post on Husker Chalk Talk.  This is one is brought to you by an offensive line coach/offensive coordinator extraordinaire from the great state of Kansas.  He’ll be talking Duo, the Huskers’ go to running concept when they need to pick up yards in the fourth quarter.  It may be the single best post we’ve had up on Husker Chalk Talk and it’s got lots of stuff for you to digest, so I’ll let him take it away.

___________________________________________________

Continue reading “Concept Wednesday – Duo”

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”

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”

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”

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”

Charting Northwestern – Spread Them Out to Run Through Them

Despite some fumbling issues early in the game, Nebraska comfortably won against Northwestern, cruising to 556 total yards and 24 points on offense while the Blackshirts held the Wildcats to 13 points.  Fumbles inside the one-yard line by Terrell Newby and Devine Ozigbo prevented the scoreboard from truly showing how bad Nebraska’s offense beat down an overmatched Wildcats defense thin on talent and made even thinner by a rash of injuries in the secondary.

In gaining 310 yards on the ground, offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf reminded Nebraska fans that the Huskers’ rushing attack in 2016 isn’t your granddaddy’s running game.  When Nebraska fans think of running the ball, they’re probably thinking of the fullback in 21 personnel and a heavy dose of the I Formation and Option.  Yet in dipping into more modern run game concepts, Langsdorf embraced the principle of formationally spreading a defense out to remove box defenders, eschewing the fullback for all but 6 plays and instead favoring single back formations with a heavy dose of QB run game.  Doubling down on that concept of spread to run, Langsdorf and running backs coach Reggie Davis continued to increase the reps for Mikale Wilbon, a player designed to operate in space created by Spread formations.

With that, we’re again seeing the evolution of the Mike Riley and Danny Langsdorf offense.  Let’s take a look at what worked against the Wildcats.

Continue reading “Charting Northwestern – Spread Them Out to Run Through Them”

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!”

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”