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”

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 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”

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”

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”