isdirection is a small part of Nebraska’s offensive attack, but can be very effective.

We run several counters from a variety of formations. If we play against a team that reduces their defense to the split end side of a formation, we will try to attack that side with counters. We do different things with the fullback to gain an extra blocker on some of our counters. If we run the counter trap to a split end side we can use the fullback to block an extra defensive back. We can use the fullback from his regular five yards deep alignment, we can offset him, or put him in short motion.


Diagram 4

Nebraska’s Counter Game

We either offset him or short motion him to insure he is in position to block the defensive end. On the lead play, only the backside guard is pulling.

Diagram 5

Diagram 1: Regular Alignment

Diagram 6 Diagram 2: Offset

Milt Tenopir Offensive Coordinator University of Nebraska Lincoln, Neb.
Diagram 3: Short Motion
The pulling guard will be responsible for the frontside linebacker when the play is run to the split end side. If we run the play to a tight end side vs. a 4-3 defense, the pulling guard has the middle linebacker. The tight end blocks the defensive end if the playside tackle is uncovered and the fullback will block the playside linebacker.

Diagram 7
The word trap signifies climbing into the line of scrimmage by the pulling lineman. Counter trap is a play that we are trying to force under the defensive end. After the ball carrier takes a delayed counter step, he exits toward the guard-tackle seam. If we run the play to the tight end side, we normally have the fullback seal backside on the play. A play similar in action to the counter trap is the fullback lead. Again, if we run to a reduced split end side, the fullback is responsible for the end man on the line of scrimmage.

We also have a play that we show similar action on, but try to make it an outside play. We call it counter sweep lead. Again, if we run it to a split end side reduced defense, the fullback will load or hook the defensive end. We try to give that

• Proceedings • 78th AFCA Convention • 2001 •

defensive end as many looks as we can. On the counter trap, the fullback ran at the end, then released outside for secondary support. On the fullback lead play, the fullback is going to kick out the defensive end. Now on the counter sweep lead, he is going to hook the defensive end. The pulling guard and tackle, when they hear "sweep" called in huddle, will gain depth on their pulls. We tell the guard to be one yard deeper than where he started once he clears the center area. We have the tackle get two yards deeper then where he started once he clears the center area. The depth differential will cause there to be separation between the pullers and aids the tackle to clear any pile-ups. The guard, on his pull, is thinking playside linebacker when he clears the fullback’s block. The tackle is thinking to block secondary support.

Diagram 8

Nebraska averaged 41 points and 349 yards rushing per game last season to continue the Cornhuskers’ string of impressive running attacks in 2000. The Huskers again led the nation in rushing last season.

Make a Difference: Insist on Secure Assistant Coaches’ Contracts When Moving to a New Position
When the runningback gets the hand-off after his counter step, he flattens out his path, getting on the tail of the pulling offen sive tackle.

AFCA members moving into a new position as a head coach can make a difference when it comes to improving the football coaching profession. Coaches who are in the process of interviewing for a head coaching position should make it a point to ask that assistant coaches’ contracts run from July to July or the equivalent (such as January to January plus six months) when negotiating with an institution’s representatives.

Diagram 9

We will also run the counter sweep with the quarterback from gun formation.

Only those within the profession can put an end to poor contracts. It’s up to you.

• Proceedings • 78th AFCA Convention • 2001 •

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