Sunday, November 26, 2017

Dave's take: QBs, coaches, and college football

I watched as both Miami and Alabama got knocked off this weekend.  And something struck me about both of these games.

I've long said that the QB & coach combination is one of the more significant factors of the success of a football team.  And IMHO, that was the case this weekend against higher ranked, undefeated, and arguably "better" teams.

In the Miami game, Pitt coach Narduzzi told his team they could win, and at 4-7 this was their bowl game.  He told ABC and the world that they would win when interviewed at half time.  He was enthusiastic and these didn't feel like mere words.

Then, he started a freshman QB who hadn't played at all this year, and let him play the game.  He didn't hold back and have him run a conservative offense, rather he had him throwing, making reads, running, and even passing when "convention" said to just run because the situation favored it.

And the kid did great. The team won and #2 went down, in a fairly resoundingly defeat. In spite of interceptions and a good defense. As they say fortune favors the bold.

In the Alabama game, Auburn coach Malzhan got his team motivated to play.  They had previously beaten #1 Georgia and believed in themselves. They all knew they could win and defeat another #1 team.  He coached well, and kept them motivated and never let up.

His QB, Stidham, was at Baylor and in his freshman season was the starter and the got injured; then left after the sex scandal.  He became a sophomore starter at Auburn, and was left to play a good game with limited restrictions as he had throughout the year.

And of course they won.

The broad point is that the right coach and QB can make all the difference.  You need the guy who can coach well and trust in his players. And a QB who gives it his all.  And sometimes you have to put your trust in the young guy, regardless of conventional wisdom.

And the wrong or mismatched combination leads to lack of success.