Nebraska Football: Blocking is the name of the game for tight ends

Nebraska Football has found a different use for their tight ends.

This kind of ties into the article I wrote a little while ago, but it’s something I have been saying, and many of you have been, saying for quite a while. Nebraska Football does not use tight ends in this offense, and they are primarily just used for blocking. It’s interesting to see how they are  ignored as receivers. Just looking at the statistics alone will tell you that.

For starters, Jack Stoll has 21 catches for 226 yards and a touchdown. The tight end with the most production besides Stoll is Austin Allen. His numbers aren’t that impressive either quite frankly. He has six catches for 53 yards. It’s safe to say that neither have been getting a ton of opportunities.

To be fair, when Stoll gets the ball, he makes the most of his opportunities. He is averaging 10.76 yards per catch. Allen averages 8.63 yards per catch, so he definitely makes the most of his opportunities too. However, the tight ends do not get used consistently. One game, they will contribute a bunch to the offense. Other games, you forget that they’re even on the field. It’s not their fault by any means. It speaks to how little the tight end is valued in a Scott Frost offense.

Especially when you have running quarterbacks, some parts of the offense are going to be sacrificed. It makes sense that the tight ends would be blockers in that case. However, even during passing plays, it almost seems like they have no part in the offense. I had high hopes when Stoll  was used heavily against South Alabama. Even in the game against Northern Illinois, he was used heavily. However, it has been an up-an-down season for him in terms of production. It’s been the same way with Allen as well. He has been even more limited as a result of Stoll getting the majority of the snaps.

However, their skills as blockers have carved them a roll on this team. As Sean Beckton noted to the media on Wednesday, teams probably recognize that blocking is their calling card.

Beckton feels his tight ends are performing well as blockers. “I tell them their tape is their resume. And I asked them this week, ‘What do you think the guys at Maryland say about those guys as well as they blocked on the perimeter this last week?’ They all said, ‘Pretty good Coach.’ I said, ‘Well, don’t rest on your laurels. They know you guys block well on the perimeter … They’re going to be working hard, so make sure we’re working hard as well to get the same results.”

Their blocking will be something to look for on Saturday. Nebraska Football needs to give Adrian Martinez and the running backs as much room to operate as possible. If they can manage to help keep the Maryland defense at bay, then they have done their job. They may not be your typical receiving tight ends, but they certainly play a big part on the field.

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