Nebraska Dive Option


Nebraksa Offensive Philosophy

As I read Milt Tenopir’s The Assembly Line, I quickly began to understand the point of their offense, at least from a running game stand point, and it’s something I’ve preached on this blog, and that is recycling blocking schemes. Recycling blocking schemes is a fantastic tactic because that is the heaviest aspect of your offense. You not only save the burden on your kids mentally from a scheme stand point, but you save time mentally and from a time aspect by only having to teach so many bloocking techniques. While you may have to change up one or two for each play, the main point is the same for those involved in the blocking scheme. This post discusses the Nebraska Dive Option, which uses Milt Tenopir’s Outside Zone scheme.

Nebraska Dive Option

Nebraska Dive Option

From Milt Tenopir’s The Assembly Line

The Nebraska Dive Option follows this similar mentality of recycling blocking schemes. Milt Tenopir’s offense utilized the inside zone and outside zone blocking schemes effectively. While their technique and strategy was unique to what many zone offenses are today, the point is the same. Especially on outside zone, they had uncovered and covered rules.

Nebraska Dive Option – Covered and Uncovered Outside Zone Rules

On Nebraska Outside Zone Plays, the covered linemen stepped to outflank their defender with a flat step (they don’t step back, it’s specifically mentioned as a flat step). The uncovered linemen aims with his first foot at his covered linemen’s defender, and his second step aims directly behind his playside foot. This enables that offensive linemen to stop a slant by the defender, work the double team if he plays straight up on the covered offensive linemen, or work to the linebacker level, which is where he actually thinks he’ll end up. The only difference between the Nebraska Dive Option and the Nebraska Outside Zone play is the read. They will let the EMOLOS go so he can be read, which I will cover next, especially to the split end side. If they have two edge players, then they will read the furthest out no matter what. However, if they’re running the play to the tight end side, they like to read the secondary force player. So that is the only tricky part to the play, and maybe where we as play callers may either make it into 2 very similiar plays, or have to rep the rules a lot.

Nebraska Dive Option: The Dive

On the Nebraska Dive Option, it’s actually a 2 man option game. This means that only two players ar involved in the option, and believe it or not it’s not the dive back (in this case, the fullback). The fullback dive is a fake and after the fake he turns into an extra blocker. The point is to hold the linebackers and let your two fastest playmakers, your quarterback and the pitch back, in this case the “I-Back” or tailback, get to the outside as they hesitate. This also opens up blocking angles for your offense.

Nebraska Dive Option: The Read

The read is simple. As I mentioned earlier, to the split side they always read the EMOLOS, to the tight end side they like to read the secondary force. They will read that player if he is on the outside of the traditional defensive EMOLOS on the line of scrimmage. If the read takes the QB, he pitches. If the read takes the back, the QB keeps.

Nebraska Dive Option: The Blocking

Because you have installed the outside zone scheme, and you are faking the dive, you are immediately going to put defenders in a bind. Depending on the linebackers primary read, they could very well be out of position, specifically if they’re reading the dive back, as many inside linebackers would. The offensive line will have excellent angles given the outside nature of the blocking scheme, which will allow your two option players to get to the edge quickly.

Conclusions on the Nebraska Dive Option

The Nebraska Dive Option is a great play. It’s only a 2 man option, which maeans teams who are wearry of a 3 man option attack can still get a lot out of it. I highly suggest it as a simple play to install if you already run plays like Speed option or even just outside zone. It will make fullback plays more effective and hold the linebackers, which is something every option needs to be successful, and it only involves 1 read since the dive is a fake.

Make sure you check out Chief Pigskin for some great videos. Also, click here to begin understanding why running the option can be simple and easy.