Anyone watch the end of Cal-Miami last night? It was one of the most comically bad examples of clock management ever. I recognize that coaching is stressful, and that coaches have to make lots of snap decisions and all, but it's still shocking to see how often they can get clock management, which should not be that difficult, screwed up. I was rooting for Cal to win, but I still found myself shaking my hand at how badly Miami blew it.
For those who missed it, Cal scored a TD with 3 minutes to go, and then Miami returned the kickoff to about the 30. The Canes had one timeout left. They called a running play, which got stuffed. 30-40 seconds went off the clock. They threw a short pass over the middle. Another 30-40 seconds went off the clock. They completed another pass over the middle, also short of the marker. Facing a 4th and 1, they allowed another 30-40 seconds to tick off, still saving that precious timeout. They finally completed a pass for a first down, but again inbounds, and allowed 10 seconds or so to tick off before running their next play - which also went inbounds. Even then, they STILL didn't call timeout, and let the clock continue to tick down. Only after an incomplete pass (which, of course, stopped the clock anyway) with 12 seconds left did Shannon finally burn that timeout. Miami ended up having to run some improvised attempt at a hook-and-ladder from midfield on the final play.
When are these guys going to get it? It's not that hard to stop the clock - you can always spike the ball - but you can't get time back that you've lost. Had Miami called a timeout after any of the aforementioned plays that ended up inbounds, they would have had an extra 30-40 seconds at the end. Coaches are so obsessed with not burning that final, precious TO that they end up shooting themselves in the foot. You're a lot more likely to score with 40 seconds and no timeouts than 10 seconds and one timeout. It's amazing how many of them don't get that. Lloyd Carr, to his credit, was pretty good at this. Hopefully RR will be as well.