There has been a lot of talk of the lack of halftime adjustments by Nebraska in reaction to the TCU defense. NU did some picking and choosing as to what things they fixed at halftime. Some things need a filmroom and a practice field, not a halftime lockerroom. Despite that, some changes did occur in the second half. Though I've not heard the coaches say it, I think the goal was to come into the TCU game and run the offense a little like they did in the scrimmages when Crouch had on the green jersey: i.e. few options, few designed QB keeps, more passing-- to protect Crouch a bit.
- in the first half, NU ran less than 13% option. Over the years, NU is at 20-25%. They ran a couple early as part of the script and then stayed away. If they had been more successful and run more plays in the half, I would think the percentage might have dipped under ten. I think they wanted to run little option.
- TCU may have guessed this. Their coach has called what they did a gamble. The ran blitzes and stunts, both from the OLB/DB players in the 4-2-5 and the middle linebackers, that most teams won't run against option. They were able to make some plays by confusing NU's young line and FBs. I think in the first half, NU kept to its plan of staying away from the option, even though TCU was asking for it. The coaches were hoping they could still find a way to move the ball. You saw that didn't work well, and it sure wasn't protecting Crouch.
- There are a couple other things that make me think NU didn't want to run Crouch much are : 1) no QB Keep where it looks like option and the QB follows the IB off-tackle (a big part of NU offense since 97). 2) Almost 70% passing plays out of shotgun formations. NU is usually 50-50 run-pass from shotgun with a lot of QB runs.
- After the first drive of the second half NU made the adjustments and went to option. The second drive was still screwed up by the OLB/SS blitz as Crouch didn't get the pitch off. He may have goofed up or Collins may have been out of proper relationship. On the third drive, they ran a bunch of option and really hurt TCU, went 99-yards, and put NU in control of the game.
- NU went with some option after that drive and still had success, but Tenopir said they didn't run it as much as they could have, even though they ran 33% option in the second half. They had the game in control and were still trying to minimize Crouch's touches.
Adjustments were made in playcalling. Not all they would have made if they needed to to win. The adjustments the coaches (when Tenopir said they'd go to work on Monday) are talking about are brain and technique adjustents with players that require practice reps.