Wow. When I said buckle up, I meant it in theory, but I wasn’t sure what it would look like in person. Then game time hit and Huskers offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf put out one of the most interesting F U games I’ve ever seen, going Gun with 11 personnel for the overwhelming part of the day and slamming an offense that looked strangely like an Oregon Ducks offense right down Brady Hoke’s throat. Amusingly, Brock Huard referred to it as a “pro style” offense at the same time Langsdorf kept dialing up QB run after QB run packaged with RPOs to constrain the apex defenders. What we saw Saturday was anything but pro style, instead picking and choosing from the best concepts around right now in college football to leverage Armstrong’s legs and other talented skill position players that Langsdorf simply never had en masse at Oregon State.
And it was capped off by a brilliant marriage between Armstrong and Cethan Carter, both of whom completely flummoxed the Ducks’ defense for much of the day. Though Armstrong wasn’t great through the air in the first half, he turned it around in the second half and delivered a classic gut check performance when his team needed it. We talked last week about how Armstrong was quietly delivering one hell of a season coming into the Oregon game. If there were any doubts about whether those numbers were bloated simply by weak competition, #4 erased them against a true Power 5 team, hanging up 295 total yards and 4 TDs. Fittingly, the knockout blow came on a Lead Draw/Y Stick RPO, with Armstrong pulling it down and housing it from 34 yards out. It’s a play that Langsdorf dialed up 3 times in the last 6 minutes alone, forcing Oregon to deal with the twin terrors that Armstrong and Carter have become.
Let’s take a look at how Langsdorf and company pulled chapters out of the Oregon playbook to beat the Ducks over the head with them.