Toss Sweep (41/49 Pitch)

Play call: 41/49 Pitch

The toss sweep is a staple of the Nebraska power game. Toss sweep may be the simplest and most famous play in the Nebraska playbook.

The QB reverses out and pitches the ball to the I-back, giving him a clear view of the defense. The FB lead blocks, and the line blocks Outside Zone Rules.

At one time Nebraska ran this with a playside pulling guard, a play which is sometimes labeled the Southern Cal Student Body Sweep or a Packer Sweep because of the success that those teams had with similar plays in the 1960s. The move to Outside Zone Rules mean this play has a greater likelihood to cutback than the traditional sweep. The move of many teams to 43 defenses instead of 52 alignments was a big part in this change.

The FB probably has the most complicated role in the Pitch. He has to read the defenses alignment in the TE area and the reaction of the outside defenders to the tackle and TE blocks to determine whether to lead the IB outside or inside of those blocks.

NU quarterbacks further their tough-guy image by blocking the backside pursuit after pitching the ball.



The Cornhuskers run 41/49 pitch out of any two-back formation. The play can be run to both split end and tight end sides so the direction can be changed at the line of scrimmage in order to have the best point of attack. Nebraska especially likes to attack the split end side of the defense if the defense reduces its front (moves its weakside d-linemen one man toward the center from their normal alignment). This creates a good blocking situation at the line and minimized secondary support behind.

Companion plays:

Halfback pass. Nebraska has run the trick play HB pass out of the 41/49 pitch look often through the years. Usually, one IB on the roster is designated as a better thrower, and is placed in the game for this play. Right now Correll Buckhalter holds that distinction. Clinton Childs fills that role in 1994-95.

Reverse. NU has run a reverse similar to the Outside Reverse off of pitch action.


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