Sunday, October 22, 2006

Let's Just Shoot Ourselves in the Foot

It seems like teams with leads were shooting themselves in the foot all over the country today. Unfortunately this held true about my beloved Bruins; so here's a quick look at the UCLA - ND game and some other examples of teams shooting themselves in the foot today.

UCLA -17, ND - 20

The Bruins were well positioned to come out of South Bend with a 17-13 victory, and the defining win of the Karl Dorrell era but no. Instead all we get is heartache and anger. Prior to the collapse the UCLA front four wreaked havoc in the ND backfield. They sacked Quinn five times and held The Golden Domers to 34 rushing yards. Hickman was a one man wrecking crew, upping his season sack total to 9.5 with two sacks, one of which was a 16 yard loss. UCLA had all the momentum after stopping Quinn on a quarterback keeper on 4th and 1, yet Notre Dame was able to come back.

Whoever came up with the prevent defense should be shot!

Rather than blitzing and applying pressure as the Bruins had all day long, they dropped deep and allowed Quinn ample time in the pocket. BIG MISTAKE. Quinn is after all, the most polished QB in the college game. He could even be the best QB in the game, and you should never give him the opportunity to pick you apart like that. In less than 30 seconds Quinn marched the Domers down the field and found Jeff Smarzjdoilsjdo;sidjoid for the winning TD.

Northwestern 38, Michigan State 41

If I'm this upset, Wildcats' fans must be damn-near suicidal. Northwestern was up 38-3, before suffering Divison 1-A's biggest meltdown, ever. That's nearly 2 times the lead the Cardinals had against the Bears! (Sorry to anyone from Arizona, but I had to mention that, it makes me feel that much better after UCLA lost).

This loss came down to two things. Momentum and of course, the prevent defense. The Northwestern offense and defense took the foot off the gas and like clockwork, the Spartans started putting points up on the board. The more they scored, the more confidence they got and the bigger their wave of mementum grew. This peaked with a blocked punt returned for a TD which tied the game, and then a game winning field goal. In the end 38 second half points, in 22 minutes spelled doom for the Wildcats.

I don't understand the purpose of the prevent defense. Okay, fine, every now and then it makes sense to use it, like if your team has been getting destroyed by the other teams offense, and you suddenly find yourself ahead late in the game. That's okay, I guess, but the prevent is usually used incorrectly. When you find yourself up 38-3, that means you've been doing something right all game long. Why change that? If your defense is holding down your opponents to 3 points, it seems to me you're preventing them from scoring as it is. I don't see a need to change your gameplan. Plus, the prevent defense is bound to fail considering teams don't practice it nearly as much. All week long you gameplan and scheme and simulate situations as though you're going to be in a dog fight. I don't think anyone would spend time practicing out the situation when you're destroying the other team; well maybe West Virginia does, but even that's doubtful. So stick with your gameplan and finish off the game!

Nebraska 20, Texas 22

This one didn't come down to a prevent defense as much as it came to just shooting yourself in the foot. Nebraska was up 1, with the ball, but then they caught a case of fumblitis. Zac "I forgot the H" Taylor completed a pass to Nunn with a couple minutes left, but Nunn proceeded to fumble as he crossed the first down line. Had Nunn held on, the Cornhuskers would almost certainly pulled off the upset and had a marquee win to show the nation that they are indeed back. Instead they shot themselves in the foot and will fall toward the bottom of the rankings.

Kansas 35, Baylor 36

QB Shawn Bell threw 3 TD's over the last 9:22 of the game, the last of which came with 1:08 remaining, to pull out a victory for Baylor. The Bears were down 35-17 before staging their comeback.
I didn't actually see this game, but I'd be willing to wager the prevent defense was utilized.

Oklahoma St. 33, Texas A&M 34

A&M scored with 3 seconds left. Prevent defense anyone? Then in OT the Cowboys had their PAT blocked, losing them the game. So they shot themselves in the foot twice. Ouch. So was that once in each foot or twice in the same one?

They tried to shoot themselves in the foot, but they missed
California 31, Washington 24

The Bears wanted to lost this game, they really did. They gave up a 40 yard Hail Mary TD, thrown by the back up QB, as time ran out. I swear, Cal wanted to reward Ty Willingham for his great coaching job, but apparently the Huskies were too gracious and decided to throw a pick in OT.

There we go. No lead is safe in college football, and I thought the new clock rules had killed the drama in the NCAA. Hell at this rate, make the games go even faster!


Blogger DickdaStick said...

There was probably some legendary Lombardian coach who first used the Prevent and knew when and how to use it and had the personnel to use it and could close out games successfully with it.

And every coach since him is trying to copy the same approach and many have blindly been giving their "winning games" away.

You are so correct in pointing out that if they have a nice lead - then they ALREADY are in the correct "prevent"....they DO NOT NEED TO CHANGE ANYTHING !!!

And they pay these coaches millions of dollars....sheeesh !!!

10/22/2006 11:19 AM  
Blogger Jeeves said...

I think they should pay folks like us half a million dollars to yell at coaches when they're doing something dumb.

10/22/2006 2:26 PM  

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