Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nebraska's offense uses diamond formation to confuse defense

Article first published as Nebraska's Offense Uses Diamond Formation to Confuse Defense on Technorati.

In Nebraska's record setting come-from-behind victory over Ohio State they used a unique offensive formation called the diamond.  This consists of a quarterback in the shotgun formation flanked by a triangle of running backs.  It can be effective for a run or pass play.  The diamond fits Nebraska's talent perfectly, and they proved it Saturday night by scoring two touchdowns out of it.

The Huskers first used the diamond formation in the 3rd quarter following Lavonte David's mauling (fumble recovery) of Ohio State's Braxton Miller.  Quarterback Taylor Martinez was flanked by Aaron Green on the right, Ameer Addullah to his left, and Rex Burkhead a couple of yards directly behind him.

Nebraska's "diamond" formation.  (Screen shot from BTN Game of the Week)
On this play Martinez fakes the hand-off to Green as all the backs move up-field to the left.  Martinez strides into a wide open lane created by Adullah, WR Brandon Kinney, and the pulling right guard Spencer Long.  Avoiding a single pursuing defender, Martinez burst into the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown making the score OSU 27 NU 13.

The second time Nebraska lined up in the diamond was on first and 10 from the 47-yard line.   Martinez, moving to his left, hands the ball to Green.  Green falls in behind lead blockers Abduallah and Burkhead for a physical seven yard gain up the sideline.

The final time the diamond formation was used by Nebraska proves how effective it can be in confusing defenses when it's executed perfectly.  On first down, Martinez fakes the hand-off to Abdullah and throws down-field to WR Quincy Enunwa for a 36-yard touchdown.

In total, the diamond formation was used three times resulting in two touchdowns and a positive gain.  The formation isn't anything new, it's been used since the earliest days of football.  For Nebraska it's just another wrinkle offensive coordinator Tim Beck can use to confuse the defense.

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  1. Interesting analysis -- I hadn't paid attention or noticed the different alignment. Was this new for Ohio State? I want to see Nebraska make more use of the freshmen -- we recruited those 3 explosive players and we need to get them the ball in space so they can make plays.

    I love Burkhead. I wasn't overally impressed at the start of the year but had faith that he would put it together because he is such a competitor.

    Good article...thanks for posting.

  2. whats this I hear Jared Crick is out for the Season??? Tell me about it Bugeater this is Breaking News


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