Two of the things I like best about BruinsNation are (1) Contributors, front-pagers and commenters alike, express themselves well; (2) Contributors have good knowledge about the "inside" of sports. They understand things that I don't, especially football line play. From people who have played the game and from people who are better students than I, I've learned much from reading this site. But, I have a long way to go.
I confess. I'm a ball-watcher. I see the hand-off, the pass, and the catch. But, unless linesmen's names are called, I'm rarely aware of who's playing where on the line. Honestly, at any given moment, I couldn't tell you if a team is trap blocking, wedge blocking, or beta blocking. I can see obvious things like downfield blocks and sweep blockers and misdirection plays. But, for the most part, the interior line play is a big muddle for me.
Similarly, in my limited view, there are three defensive positions in football: line, linebacker, and secondary. Intricacies of defensive zone play, and interplay between positions of cornerback, strong safety, and free safety are lost on me. Team coordination between linesmen, inside linebackers, outside linebackers, and middle linebackers are reduced, in me, to "Great hit, Jordan!" and "Way to go, Datone!"
In past years, seeing what kind of adjustments we made at halftime was easy. We didn't. That is, we didn't make any that I was aware of. We gave twelve-yard cushions in the first half; we gave twelve-yard cushions in the second half. But, mostly, the fact that the second-half results were little or no better than the first-half results is what made it easy for me to conclude that we didn't make significant adjustments at halftime.
In the Nebraska game, Nebraska's offense was much less effective in the second half than in the first. Martinez and Abdullah pretty much had their way in the first half. In the second half, not nearly so much. So, it would be easy for me to say that we made great halftime adjustments. And, I'd probably be right. But, challenge me to identify the adjustments that we made, and my honest response would be "Ummm..."
So, I'm asking this question, not as a challenge, but as a sincere request for enlightenment. What kinds of adjustments, both in line play and elsewhere, did we make on offense and defense in the second half? How did these adjustments help us?