Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lessons About Football

Will learned a couple of things about football this weekend. As expected, Clemson beat NC State. With seconds remaining, State’s last pass was intercepted near the goal line. The DB returned the ball 70 yards, though all he had to do was take a knee to end the game. A score would’ve been meaningless, only creating ill-will in the ACC rivalry. Had Clemson fumbled, a State touchdown would’ve made the final score closer. Bad coaching, I told Will.

Later that afternoon one of Fox Sports 50 Most Remarkable College Football Plays was a similar situation. All Baylor had to do was take a knee to beat UNLV. Instead Baylor handed to a RB, who gained several yards before fumbling. Sure enough, UNLV returned it 90 yards for a game-winning touchdown.

Later the UGA / South Carolina game also ended with an interception. The UGA DB dutifully fell to the ground, foregoing personal glory and not risking a fumble. Good coaching.

Lesson number two: Late in the GT game Virginia Tech kicked a FG to go ahead 20-17 with about five minutes remaining. On the ensuing possession the GT offense was lethargic, taking their time in the huddle and dropped a key third & ten pass. They ran over two minutes off the clock and had to punt. All the while I was going crazy, telling Will that this series lost the game for GT.

I blame QB Nesbitt for this blunder. His pass was on target, and he made plays the entire game. But as a sophomore he still has a lot to learn. The freshman backup can run the option much better, and I really don’t think he’s that far behind. Hopefully Nesbitt won’t get hurt, but if he does, there won’t be much of a dropoff.

Anyway, the excellent GT defense quickly forced VT to punt. GT had a little over a minute to go over 95 yards. They did well, gaining 60 before the clock ran out. Will said, "Man, they’d had won if they had another 30 seconds!" My reply: "They did"...referring to the earlier time consuming "3 & out". Lesson learned.

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