Nebraska Football: Is The Zone Read Dead?

Dean WebbContributor IJanuary 11, 2011

The zone read option is trending in the wrong direction, unless your Quarteback is a legend.
The zone read option is trending in the wrong direction, unless your Quarteback is a legend.Tom Pennington/Getty Images

After watching Oregon get just completely smothered by a premier defense, is the zone read, spread running game going to be the right fit for Nebraska moving forward? 

It looks like this whole offensive transformation project will take a few more years for Nebraska to get to where Oregon was at this year.

Will it be too late?
A concern Nebraska should have is that no matter how fast and creative they get, they won't be able to "trick" good defenses when it counts. For example, when the opponent has a legitimate defense and 30 days to prepare.

Husker fans expect to play in championship games. If they had somehow made it there this year, nothing would be different.

The wishbone, run and shoot, west coast, no huddle and other gimmicks have run their course. Now the spread is dead, or at least dying.

What always stands the test of time? A traditional pro style offense, the one that NFL teams use, the one that many successful college teams use—one with real balance, not proclaimed balance.
We can all probably agree that Oregon had one of the most impressive zone read running offenses in history, but when it counted, 75 yards and zero rushing touchdowns in goaline territory.

Did that game remind Nebraska fans of anything? Was Bo Pelini watching? Was he listening with his eyes? Does he realize that teams who win big with the zone read option had the likes of Vince Young, Tim Tebow and Cam Newton.

Teams who haven't had those legends have been shut down at some point.
Furthermore, Nebraska's philosophy may come from the very top, Pelini's boss? Remember when Tom Osborne took over as AD, he indicated that he'd like to see a spread rushing attack, one like Florida uses.

As a new coach, was Pelini too apathetic about the type of offense he wanted and just figured he'd listen to a 70-something-year-old legend and couldn't go wrong?

This is a crucial point for Nebraska and Bo Pelini, is the zone read option the absolute best direction to go?

After last night and this season, this spectator says no.
What do you know, all this talk about the problems with Nebraska's offense and I didn't use the W word.