First, Michigan scored 34 points in regulation. I don't think anyone was unhappy with how the 3rd quarter worked; despite the 1st half, we were in a position to win. Then, we put on the brakes, which presumably gave the game away. Let's see how that worked.
with 6:35 left in the game, Michigan led 34-27. Herein lies the following drive:
7 rushes, 1 pass.
What did this "putting on the brakes" do?
It gave us the ball on the PSU 28 yard line, on first down, with NO PSU timeouts left. The time read 3:10.
We ran twice, for 1 total yard; there were less than 2 minutes left and Michigan was within field goal range at the 29.
I just don't understand how this could be construed as a failure. We took off 4 minutes left, and drove to within field goal range; if we made the field goal then the game is effectively over as we're up by two scores with less than 2 minutes left.
Michigan then takes a delay of game. (Blame goes equally to Borges, Gardner, and Hoke). The DOG makes it 3rd and 14 from the 32 yard line; there are 80 seconds left and PSU has no timeouts. What would you do here? an incomplete pass gives PSU 30 more seconds, a QB draw is OBVS(!), and a run is also OBVS(!).
Borges chose to run it, and we lost 3 yards, taking us out of field goal range. Yes, this was a problem, but I think it follows sound game theory. A run takes the clock down to 50 seconds, and the punt means PSU has to drive it 80 yards, with a FRESHMAN QB. I mean, everything had to go perfect for us to lose. Playing not to lose isn't really a bad strategy when everything has to go perfect for you to lose. I don't think too many people were moaning about the choice to punt it after the failed run.
Then, people are bitching about the OT. In OT #1 and #3, all we had to do was make a field goal. I don't know what everyone's seeing, but I still think that game strategy dictates that you just take the 3 free points and go home with a win. The fact that Gibbons missed/had blocked 2(!) field goals is not on the play calling.
OT is really what gets me. How does a pass, an end around, etc improve our odds of winning? We've got one of the best FG kickers in Michigan history, and were out around 25 yards. Of course, a TD could win it; DG also has 3 TOs at this point. Why not just take the easy 3 and go home?