Nebraska Football

Nebraska Football: Kudos to Mark Whipple for addressing red zone

Greg Smith/Hail Varsity

The Nebraska football coaching staff met with the media on Thursday, and offensive coordinator Mark Whipple talked about some of the things that unit has been doing. Working on red zone efficiency is one of them, as Nebraska prepares for Northwestern.

The red zone was an area where Nebraska football struggled in 2021. They had a 73.33% red zone conversion percentage. That put them 111th in all of college football. To put it simply, they struggled. As a fan, it was difficult to watch, as they left several points on the board with missed opportunities.

Red zone work is something that Whipple has emphasized ever since spring ball. I am glad he is continuing to hammer the point home. The red zone is an area that Nebraska really needs to get better in, and it sounds like that’s one of the things they are focusing on as the team heads Ireland.

This seems to be a focal point of the Nebraska football game plan, as noted by Brian Christopherson of 247Sports.

-On Thursday the Huskers added some “high red zone” game planning for the opener. “So there’s a few things there that we’ll clean up and then we’ll have another session of red zone in Ireland.”

Northwestern allowed a touchdown or field goal in 82.35% of opponent red zone scoring opportunities. That put them 59th in that category in the 2021 season. That’s not great, but it’s not terrible either. The Huskers will have an opportunity for some mismatches, as they bring an improved offensive cast with them to Dublin.

I’m curious as to what the red zone preparation is. Maybe, it is practicing running plays in specific down and distance situations. Maybe it is going to be more about smart passing plays. I would imagine tempo has something to do with it as well.

Whatever the case may be, it’s encouraging that Nebraska football is devoting an entire segment of their practices to red zone game planning. Red zone inefficiency has killed them in past years, and it’s made the difference between wins and losses on several occasions. If Nebraska wants to be successful, they have to convert.

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