Monday, December 15, 2008

Why coaching matters

I watched the end of the championship game for whatever division it is in college football - the game between Northern Iowa and Richmond. 
 
One of the teams had scored with under a minute left to go up by a couple of points.   They squibbed it down the field, so it was fielded around the 40, and returned to the 45.  There are maybe 20 or so seconds left, and the team still holds one timeout.  Funny thing: they burned a timeout on the extra point to try and ice the kicker, odd as that seems.
 
They need maybe 30 yards to get into field goal range, and they might have two chances to get it and still get the timeout.
 
What do they do?  Call one of those whacky, pass-it-around the field things that just keeps the ball moving for the time remaining.  The first throw was about 8 yards up the field, and the laterals started.  One of them was a lateral that went far behind the line of scrimmage, like 10 yards behind and across the field. 
 
If the goal is to move the ball up the field, why would you throw it that far backward??
 
Naturally, they lost.  And I found it a curious decision on first down.  Maybe if it was incomplete on 1st you try it on second....

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