Mike Lantry, 1972
I'm still giddy about Saturday. What a comeback, what a game, what a win!
I did get some texts from friends after we were up 27-19 asking the same question I was thinking: "Don't you wish we had kicked that PAT after the 3rd TD?" If we kick the PAT, we're up 21-19, then after the subsequent TD would have been up 28-19 leaving Wisconsin needing a TD and a FG.
This is a major pet peeve of mine. I'd like to know what people's thoughts are about going for the two-point conversion. Here's my view:
1) In general, unless there is less than ~7 minutes to go in the fourth quarter, don't go for two.
2) Exception #1: You are down so much that the only possible chance you have is multiples of 8. e.g. There is 1:15 left to go in the third quarter and you're down 24 points. If you score, go ahead and try for 8 each time.
3) Exception #2: The weather is so bad you might not ever score again. e.g. Notre Dame two weeks ago: We are down 28-17 for part of the 2nd quarter and all of the third. If we had scored a TD late in the third quarter, I might have gone for 2, to get us within 3. (Alas, that never ended up being one of the things we had to wrestle with that day...)
So once you've got less than half of the fourth quarter to go, pull out your chart that tells you whether or not to go for it; otherwise, kick the PAT, take your point and move on. I understand that this one is somewhat philosophical. Sort of like how some coaches will never take the FG off the board even if the penalty would give them a first down. Or deciding whether to double or just hit your 11 against the dealer's ten. Maybe the important thing is just being consistent.
Obviously, nobody knew Threet had the 58 yard run in him, or that we'd go score the next TD. And if we'd gotten the 2, AND the subsequent TD and PAT, then the game would have been REALLY out of reach. Still, it is still frightening that we were a penalty and some great D-line pressure away from OVERTIME yesterday.