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.

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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.

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QB Run Game – BYU

Coming into the year, the largest question on offense was how Riley and Langsdorf would use Tommy Armstrong’s legs.  At Oregon State, they never had the luxury of a QB who could get into open space and make plays with his feet.  In Lincoln, that’s exactly what they had in spades with Armstrong, AJ Bush and Zack Darlington.  With the offensive coaches talking in the spring about incorporating the QB run game, the BYU game featured a handful of designed QB runs outside of the standard zone read variety.  Here are a few of them:

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