What role did Tom Osborne play in Nebraska’s new 3-3-5 defense

Nebraska head football coach Matt Rhule recently appeared on the Husker Radio Network. The conversation touched on various topics, including Nebraska’s new defense.

The Huskers will be running a 3-3-5 scheme this season. Rhule has had some experience with the defense.

When I was at Temple we were really good on defense. We were in the Top 25 for three of the four years. We always mixed around with some three-down (lineman) stuff. We’d run some 3-3 stuff. Then when we got to Baylor, you know it’s a wide-open offense. We played a little bit of it but the last year we ran a true 3-3 and jumped through the roof and won 11 games. That was my history with it, I knew Tony and knew the success he was having.

As Rhule explained to host Greg Sharpe, former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne helped plant the seed of trying something different.

It was really listening to Coach Osborne talk about making Nebraska a place where people have to adjust to something in just two or three days. Again, he was talking about the option. On defense, let’s do something I know a little bit about from my history. Is it simpler? Our guys have taken to it and learned it but a lot of it has to do with their hard work as well.

Nebraska defensive coordinator Tony White has been among the more popular topics of conversation among the Cornhusker faithful. White runs a 3-3-5 base defense. That’s three down linemen, three linebackers, and five defensive backs.

He learned the defense under Rocky Long, who was considered one of the significant influences on the modern spread defense. White’s defenses are known for their aggressive and unorthodox style.

On the 3-3-5 defense

On single digit numbers

On the walk-on program

On his coaching philosphy

On the Go Big facility

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Story originally appeared on Cornhuskers Wire