Sunday, October 05, 2008

why coaching matters

I watched the UM-FSU game yesterday, and was thoroughly entertained by it.  What a great display of offensive prowess from both teams.  Too bad neither of them could play defense.
 
But what struck me was how the game was *coached*...in particular, I'm thinking about the point in the game where Miami scored to make it 31-21.  Here it was as the sun was setting in the game, and I actually yelled to the TV "You need to go for 2 here! Points matter late in the game!"
 
And in comes the field goal unit to make it 31-22.  I am sure to the coaches, it didn't seem to matter much.  What's the difference, really, if you're down by 8 or 9?  You still need two scores.  Except for the fact that 8 points is possible in a single play.
 
And so we went back and forth for a while, with Miami scoring another TD and eschewing the two-point play then as well.  But, when Miami kicked a FG, it looked like it might not be an issue.  Then, FSU went ahead 41-32 with about minutes left.  Its back to 9 again, and that means two possessions are required.
 
Miami manages to score with 14 ticks left, but *needs* an onside kick. 
 
Imagine if the coach had considered going for 2 either time Miami scored.  A two point play would have tied the game; and if they had missed, it would have required two possessions anyway.
 
The coaches blew the decision twice, and it cost them the game.

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