Rumors came out during spring about Nebraska moving to a no-huddle offense. Shawn Watson had found a new job at Louisville and Tim Beck had taken over the offense. Beck had to do something to jump start them. People were starting to believe that Nebraska couldn't consistently score 30 points a game anymore against average to above average teams.
In trying to figure out what the Husker's might do, people try to brainstorm some ideas. The thought process became:
1) Bo knows defense.
2) Because he knows defense, Bo also knows what kind of offense gives him the most trouble, which led to
3) The possibility of Nebraska implementing a no-huddle attack. Speculation then ensued that Nebraska would implement a system similar to Oregon or Oklahoma.
Of course, there is no perfect offensive system. If there was, everyone would run it. Systems have to be designed around the players available and players must be recruited to run specific systems. The clip below is Oregon running their offense versus Stanford last year. You'll also noticed a strategy implemented by Stanford (and other teams) to try and slow down Oregon.
So what exactly is a "no-huddle" offense? It simply means that after a play is run, the offense gets to the line of scrimmage as quickly as possible. The offense could be a spread-em-out Texas Tech style or it could be an old fashion Nebraska power running game. It's all about getting to the line of scrimmage quickly after the play ends. There are many advantages to doing this. Some include:
If the defense isn't ready, you can catch them out of position and get big yardage or they can get a penalty for encroachment, etc.
It becomes harder to substitute players in-between plays. The offense knows when it can substitute, but the defense has to guess. Plays can be run towards either side of the field, but plays that end closer to the offense's sideline can allow the offense to sneak in a substitute because the ball will be lined up closer to their side. This is a good way to wear the defense down.
If you line up with a lot of time on the play clock you can see how the defense lines up and potentially call a different play. Attack them where they aren't. Audible to a weakness.
There can also be some disadvantages to the no-huddle as well. If you suck at it and go 3-and-out, you just give the ball back to the opposing team quicker. If they are good, they can put more points up on the board.
If you are not conditioned for it, it will be less effective. If you are a defender on a team that runs the no-huddle, and your offense goes 3-and-out, your time resting on the bench is less than it would be for a traditional offense that goes 3-and-out.
So what does Bo have planned? Well, we probably won't know everything about the new offense until mid-to-late October. Some clues have come out from some of the players, though. Back in spring, the coaches kept stressing the word "physical" (but they stress that every spring). The players were saying that the playbook was about 50-50 run/pass.
The word from players is that the system is no-huddle, for the most part, and designed to adjust on the fly to opposing defenses. Quarterback Taylor Martinez said it's 50-50 run-pass.
There was also talk of more shotgun formations.
Sophomore quarterback Taylor Martinez – speaking to the media for the first time since November – confirmed the Huskers will use a version of a no-huddle offense that just happens to be similar to the attack Martinez ran at Corona (Calif.) Centennial High School. There, Martinez primarily operated out of the shotgun and threw swiftly to his receivers, sometimes within a second of receiving the snap.
With Taylor's speed, I think it's safe to say that the zone read isn't going anywhere. It may not be the bread-and-butter, but it's still going to be in the play book. You're going to see a lot of looks from the offense. Skill players will line up all over the field to keep the defense guessing. The spring game show us a lot of the fullback and some old fashioned power running, so it will be interesting to see how Beck does this. We don't want our opponents to see us line up in the shotgun and expect pass and also line up in the "I" and expect a run all the time.
I think the biggest concern I have right now is Beck's plan to use hand signals to send in the plays. During spring, the players talked about having to learn all of these signals and how long it's taking to do so. This doesn't sound like something that they can just change up every week for a different opponent. So after four games, our conference foes could use the game tape to see what the hand signals mean. Not sure that's a great idea, but we will see how it goes.
Junior tight end Kyler Reed said NU will use hand signals to call plays from the sideline. Wide receivers will no longer shuttle the plays in and out, and Nebraska will rarely form a traditional huddle. The offensive tempo, Reed, said, will vary on the situation.
"It doesn't have to be high tempo," Reed said. "It can. It can be like a huddle tempo, too, where we just kinda wander up to the line and get the signal. Or it can be fast. We have to learn the hand signals."
This past week, the guys at the Lincoln Journal Star interviewed some of the players at the Big Ten meetings and where able to piece together some more information regarding the new offense.
All-in-all it should be exciting to see what Nebraska's no-huddle ends up looking like. I, for one, would love to see a power running game molded into our no huddle. Toss in a serious passing threat, and it could be unbeatable. Not sure it's ever been done before, either. What do you think Nebraska's no-huddle should look like and are you excited for it?