Play call: 43/47 Dive
Nebraska's simplest I-back play involves the quarterback getting the ball to the IB as deep in the backfield as possible. The line uses Inside Zone Blocking Rules and the I-back is taught that Inside Zone Blocking will open holes at different places each time. Nebraska I-backs are taught to attack the line of scrimmage by reaching the point where the linemen's feet started before cutting to a crease. Like most inside zone plays, the IB Dive can open anywhere from the off-tackle hole called (3 or 7) to the
One sign of an IB inside zone play is the fullback going immediately to the backside with no fake from the quarterback. The FB is blocking the the backside contain man in case the play cuts all the way back to the backside.
Nebraska runs IB Dive out of any formation that has an I-back. In other words, almost every one they have in the playbook. In two-back sets the FB is responsible for sealing the backside cutback. In one-back formations this block is made by a tight end, a tackle, or even, a wingback in motion. This is one area where big WB Troy Hasselbroek shone at the end of the 1999 season.
Reverse. The last two years have seen liberal use of the IB Dive fake into the middle while the wingback (usually Bobby Newcombe) comes around behind the fake to take a reverse handoff.
Fake Reverse. The inside IB Dive has also been the beneficiary of the threat of Bobby Newcombe at wingback. The Huskers has handed off the basic 43/47 I-back Dive several times a game while faking Newcombe around the back like a reverse. The use of Newcombe as a decoy is an example of using subterfuge as a replacement for blocking. Newcombe coming around on a fake reverse freezes or occupies many more defenders than the wingback could ever block on the play if he was used just for that purpose.
Play action passing. The IB Dive is one of NU's staples in the play action passing game. It is a simple way to get the QB more time while keeping him in the pocket, since he drops straight back to fake to the IB.
QB Keep. On 43/47 Dive QB Keep the quarterback fakes to the dive back and runs outside to playside. This play had disappeared from the Husker offense for a couple years, until Kansas State began using it extensively with Michael Bishop in 1998. Solich ran it with Crouch in 1999 (vs. Kansas State).