All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In the "Carriker Chronicles" video series, he breaks down the latest NU news, upcoming opponents, player updates and recruiting information, and he offers his insight into the X's and O's and more.
On Monday's episode, Adam Carriker analyzes the two teams playing for the National Championship — LSU and Clemson — and breaks down what the Huskers could takeaway from watching each team's offense and defense.
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Here's a transcript of today's show:
Welcome to the Carriker Chronicles, the people's show where we check the pulse of Husker Nation. Brought to you by Nebraska Spine Hospital. Ladies and gentlemen, it's the most wonderful time of the year. No, not because of Christmas, it's the bowl season ladies and gentlemen. All right, now, if you missed my gut reaction to the College Football Playoff games: LSU versus Oklahoma, I guess that was a game. Ohio State versus Clemson, that's probably one of the best college football playoff games we've ever had outside of a national championship game. If you missed my gut reaction, it went out late Saturday night after the game, go back and check that bad boy out.
But, here's the thing: All right, thinking about the Huskers, and I'm thinking about this as a Husker-alum, a proud Husker fan, Husker for life... What can we learn from LSU and Clemson? How can we get better? We've got a lot of improvements to make and I don't think I'm shocking anybody, dropping any bombs with that one. What can we learn from the two teams playing for the National Championship -- LSU and Clemson?
Other than changing our mascot to a tiger, here are the things that I think we can take away... And, I think it's pretty safe to say that Scott Frost and his young coaching staff, they're going through a learning curve of their own. So, here's some of the things that I think we can take away, and I'm going to start with the offensive side of the ball. All right, you look at these two offenses, now the Huskers' offense is a RPO offense, run-pass-option -- on this very same play it could be a run, it could be a pass -- that's exactly what LSU and Clemson do.
Now, I noticed something, because most RPO-offenses you have a run-first quarterback who can also pass, but Joe Burrow is a guy who passes first who can also run. Same with Trevor Lawrence. I think he surprised some people with how well he could run, but he is a pass-first guy who can run. So, how does this work when it's supposed to be a run-oriented offense, but you've got pass-first guys who can also run? They can both run pretty well by the way. Here's what I noticed: Quick decision making. I mean, if you can run and you can pass all in the same play, it's all about the quick decision making.
That ball, when Joe Burrow passes, is out so quick. Now, obviously, he's setting all sorts of records. Man, that bar is high with that guy, but aren't we trying to reach that bar? Here's the deal, he gets the ball out so quick and so fast in that RPO offense and then when he runs, he takes off. Just like Trevor Lawrence. Trevor Lawrence is even more of a pass-first guy, but then he goes out and he out runs the entire Ohio State defense. Now, is he faster than them? No. Ladies and gentlemen, he's 6-foot-6. I'm going to tell you right now as a guy who is 6-foot-6, it's hard to plant , stop, cut and turn sometimes when you're this freakin' tall. Yet, he's out there outrunning the whole Ohio State defense.
So, why are these offenses so effective? Why are these two guys so effective, even when they run the ball? Because they make quick decisions. They're decisive in what they're doing. You have to be decisive, especially in a RPO offense. Now, the Huskers, they're not quick with the decision making. It's a little bit tentative. It needs to be sped up a lot, and improved a lot. You don't always have to be right. All right. If you're going to be right, go fast. If you're going to be wrong, go fast, because you're probably going to do something right, which may make you schematically wrong, but you're probably going to do something right, which means you're going to do something right. We've got to be quicker with our decision making on offense.
Now, when it comes to defense... Squirrel! When it comes to defense, I wanna focus on the Clemson defense, because last year they won a National Championship in large part with their four defensive linemen. They had four guys who were high draft picks last year on that defensive line. I'm going to be honest with you, I'm going to call their secondary average from last year, but really, that's being nice. This year, however, their front four were all high draft picks, they're gone. So, their front four is the liability of their defense, and their back seven, especially that back four, is the strength.
Now, I'm watching them last year and you have to have an identity -- easy for me to say -- on offense, and on defense and as a team. But, you've also got to be able to adjust to who you have and who you don't have year in and year out. Last year, they let those four beasts up front roar, and they did all sorts of exotic coverages from zones to man to all these different things. They let their strength roar, and I'm an up front guy. I believe you win championships, especially on defense, with the D-line. That's how you get pressure on the quarterback, it's how you control the trenches and stop the run, but you've got to adjust to what you've got. Their four defensive linemen cause pressure and then they dropped everyone else back, because that's what they had to do, that's what they could do. This year, their four defensive linemen can't get pressure on their own, so they're bringing all sorts of exotic blitzes from north, south, east, west, from Hawaii, Alaska, every which direction. Then they're letting their guys in the back end cover one-on-one, because they can do that this year.
See, my point is this: You've got to adjust to who you have year in and year out. Sometimes you're going to win up front, sometimes you've got to adjust and you've got to blitz and you've gotta trust your back end. That's all I'm saying.
All right, until next time Husker nation, check out my gut reaction after that National Championship game as well on January 13th, and always remember... To throw the bones!
Thanks again to the Nebraska Spine Hospital. Ladies and gentlemen, when it’s your spine, you do not want to mess around. Experience matters. That’s why you can trust the experts at Nebraska Spine Hospital, the region's only spine specific hospital. They are the best at what they do.
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