So all night long the Irish kicker is dropping kickoffs consistently at the goal line or the one, forcing us to return the ball, usually not beyond the 25. Why, on their final kickoff, the only one that really mattered, did they kick it into the endzone? Yeah maybe starting on the 20 put us a little further away from the endzone but they took no time off the clock! This was THE key to winning the game. If we return the kickoff, at least 6 seconds run off, maybe 8 and we have, at best, a chance for a field goal (if everything stayed the same) with a questionable kicker. I can't understand this. Please explain.
With so little time left on the clock it was the best play to make. There is a much better chance of a return going all the way, then Michigan going all the way down the field with passes. It was definitely the correct move.
Have you seen our kick returns?
So I have to agree with you. Glad to be wrong.
you can't squib it because we can tie with a field goal. you can't kick it out of bounds by the same token. You don't want to take a chance with a return, especially with the memories of stonum and so many other big returns in this series.
Double edged sword ... Kick and allow a return also gives us a chance to take one all the way back and re-take the lead. Kicking it into the end zone is trusting your D not allow them getting down the field in 30 seconds. IMO I'd kick it through the end zone every time.
I believe their special teams had more unknown variables than the defense at the time. They held the opposing QB to 4 completions in the first three quarters. 80 yards in 30 seconds is very tough
They didn't want to take the risk of losing on a kick return perhaps? I mean there was only 30 seconds left they probably assumed they had the game in the bag.
I was half expecting to see Denard standing deep on the kickoff, ready to recieve the third, seventh, and nineteenth lateral that was to ensue during the return.
i actually lamented to my wife that denard didn't return kicks as they lined up for that one.
What we saw was the equivalent of flipping heads on a quarter 19 times in a row (okay, I'm making that statistic up, but still).
First of all, I don't think the kicker has the ability to hit a specific yard-line with his kicks at will. I'm pretty sure he just kicks the hell out of the ball and it goes where it goes. If he tried to take something off of his kick, it may not have gone to the 1.
Also, as the poster above mentioned, there is always a risk that we get a big return. Just because they held us to the 25 on the previous kick-offs, doesn't mean we don't find a seem and break a long one. Kick-off returns are an easy way to get yards without taking much time off the clock. The returner generally runs at full speed in a straight line.
The win was an act of God. We could have put Will Campbell back to return the final kick and if the kick was short he would have taken it the distance somehow.
If he kept his pad level right.
play. Maradona's goal will now need to take second place.
Someone needs to go all Monty Python/youtube on that video clip and have the clouds part, the hand of god come down from above, and flick the ball out of his hand.
Yeah, they had to choose. Give us 30 seconds to go 80 yards, squib it to prevent a return and still kill time, however that gives us good field position, so say anywhere from 70-50 yards in 20 seconds. Or they could do a regular kickoff, which has us going anywhere from 99 yards to winning the game. You've got to take safe option, most teams aren't going to go 80 yards in 30 seconds on a prevent defense. Even if they do take a bunch of short stuff for a field goal, that's still having us trust an unknown. ND made the right call, their D just couldn't finish the job
It took you two days to realize that kicking the ball in the endzone was the worst possible thing ND could do at that point in the game. I recognized it as the ball was sailing through the back of the endzone. I was like What an idiot.
Damn, you are so smart man. Maybe he just didn't post it until now? Even if he just noticed, who cares?
I totally agree that it was the correct play... and yet, before it happened, I said to the ND fan next to me, "I bet they kick away out of a lack of respect to our return unit. Just hope they kick it into the end zone." No, not because I thought we'd go 80 yards. But we can't seem to get ANYTHING out of returns.
As soon as it was down in the end zone I immediately turned to my wife and said they just did us a big favor. Saved at least 5-6 seconds.
Pretty stupid. But no one said Domers were smart.
you haven't spoken to too many Domers; most of the ones I know say it's ND's high academic standards which account for their lack of victories since 1989.
I think that would probably be letting Jeremy Gallon run down the sideline with no one within 20 yards of him.
I think the odds are much greater of Michigan getting a big return (yes, even with our inept kick returners) and setting something up, than going 80 yards in under 30 seconds.
Brian Kelly had to be thinking "COVER...THE...WHEEL...ROUTE..."
On the plus side, I now have a happy memory about a wheel route in my recent memory :)
We burned Illinois with a wheel route immediately after they killed us with it.
Kick the ball into the endzone and make the other team go 80 yards. I would not want to risk a kick return with hook and ladder or some form of reverse.
have just been jacked up. Adrenaline is a funny thing in 20 year olds
That's what she said
Looking back at it, sure your right. But giving it to us at the 20 is much better than giving it to us most likely past the 20 and taking 6ish seconds off. The chance that we break it all the way is slim, but the chance that we take it to our 40-45 isn't that slim and that extra 20 yards would have been huge.
Steve Breaston made the game-winning 2005 Henne-to-Manningham TD against Penn St. possible by returning the ball to midfield.
Squibs end up on the 40 all too often. Plus, the clock doesn't start until the ball is touched. If we pick it up at the 20 and run to the 40 (or better) that is 6-7 seconds at the very max. Hell, that's what we wasted on our first failed play in our 80 yard drive. From the 40, a 30 yard pass has you in field goal position to tie (assuming a usable kicker). That is more than doable in 23 seconds, especially with timeouts. I'd take 23 seconds from the 40 over 30 seconds from the 20 any day. Not to mention the possibility of a full return on the kickoff...
IMO the worst playcall was our defensive call (nickel eff it) to give them the easy go ahead touchdown late in the 4th. Yes I understand the theory behind the call but it was just so so stupid against a team with the kind of receivers ND has. They needed the TD and the only defense we had all game that looked halfway decent was short yardage. Keep everything in front of you and leave it to the short yardage defense to make the stop. Don't protect the sticks like they actually meant something for a situation where a FG doesn't help.
I think if they would have took a penalty by kicking the ball out of bounce and stopped the clock and gave us great field position, they probably would have won. God rewarded us for disciplining Stonum while cursing ND for playing Floyd.
This is one of those hindsight is 20/20 deals. Given our KR situation I thought they'd just do the same thing and try to burn a few seconds while (almost certainly) holding us inside the 30. When the ball went into the endzone I said to my kid that they just gave us a gift, not really believing of course that we'd actually capitalize on it. I'm still not really sure how it happened, I'm just glad it did.
Using some sort of NFL stats, he thought we had a 4% chance of scoring from the 20 with 30 seconds to go. The odds of running a kickoff back seem to be lower than 4% but we would then have the ball somewhere likely closer with 23 seconds or so left. My guess is kicking it through the endzone is the best play.
From a non-scientific standpoint, the only similar situation I recall in a big rivalry game was in the 1988 M - OSU game, M blew a big lead (20-0 at halftime I think) and found themselves trailing 31-27 with very little time left (not sure how much but I would guess 30 seconds). John Kolesar ran the kickoff back to about the 40 and then caught a 40 yard pass for the winning score on the next play. The game gave Bo a lead in the OSU series 10-9-1 and became the first of many losses for John Cooper.
I could be wrong, but I think there was more like 2 minutes left when we got the ball back.
You think they were purposely not kicking touchbacks until then? That just doesn't make any sense on a risk/reward basis. We were getting at least a little better field position than the 20 anyway.
but it was kind of weird. KOs to the 1 or 2 all game long then the last one well into the endzone. If he could have put there all night, why didn't he? OTOH, the adrenaline thing.
I think you're answering your own question. Adrenaline and he can't normally kick it that far. I would assume he was trying to do the same thing on every kick.
I think kicking it through the back is both predictable and safe on a play with such a high variance (especially given the nature of desparation kick returns). While I don't think that Michigan would have tried to do the Cal "just keep lateraling until you clobber a trombone player" KO return, who is to say that they don't try something more along the lines of the music city miracle or some other KO return trickery. If you are going to pull that kind of play out, do it against a rival with just a little time left. 80 yards in 30 seconds is difficult and even (perhaps) preventable especially if ND covers that wheel route. So it is concievable to think that a lateral or a reverse was in the works (or that wierd bunching play where 4 or 5 guys huddle together one guy gets it and sticks it under his shirt and then the group scatters)
Also to Erik_in_Dayton:
What we saw was the equivalent of flipping heads on a quarter 19 times in a row (okay, I'm making that statistic up, but still).
The probability for 19 heads in a row is 1.9E-6 or .00019%. Not sure what that means, but now you have a number to argue about.
Odds to win with 30 seconds to go down by 3 on own 20: 4 percent
Odds to win with 23 seconds to go down by 3 on own 25: 6 percent
Odds to win with 20 seconds to go down by 3 on own 30: 7 percent
Apparently yardage is more important than time, at least in the NFL
I think that the NCAA rule about stopping the clock to move the chains on a 1st down makes those probabilities higher (in general) for the college game compared to the pro game. Still, it can't be a huge difference (it isn't going to go from 7% to 50%...)
Also according to the calculator:
Odds to win with 30 seconds to go down by 3 on own 20 = Odds to win with 1 second to go down by 3 on own 30
Seems a bit fishy.
Combining this with the lack of a "timouts left" option makes me think the calculator could use some improvement (a bigger database to test?)
I think the more baffling call was why they didn't intentionally do pass interference on the last play. So what, give UofM 1st and goal with 2 seconds left. Hoke probably would have been forced to go for the FG then.
The flag was thrown. It was just a crappy PI effort as it obviously didn't prevent the TD.
ND has two things to work on:
1) Defense needs to improve the effectiveness of their intentional pass interference
2) Offense needs to take more time with their two-minute offense, to leave opponents with less time.
If you break that pass up it practically seals the victory. When was the last time Michigan made a 35 yard field goal? 2009?
OTOH, we make extra points with regularity. PI seals overtime and Michigan had the momentum + home field advantage, etc.
The last thing they want to see happen is UM get a decent return and start around the UM forty yard line. Starting around the 40 with 30 seconds left and 2 timeouts isn't that daunting. Granted UM's kicking was awful last year but I'm guessing ND was watching UM kick FG's before the game. Herbie even commented that while the FG unit was bad last year, Gibbons in pre-game warm ups showed he had the leg to kick a 50-55 yd FG.
But even if we returned it to the 40 (doubtful), at least ten seconds would have run off the clock. That was the OP's point.
our last play was with 8 sec. a kick return doesnt usually last 8 sec.
I think it was the right move, since we only needed a field goal to send the game to OT.
Just in terms of the kickoff I know its actually a terrible idea but there was a part of me that wanted denard back there to return the kick. I was sure a good kick return was our only shot and in a one time think I think denard would be a great kick returner (its honestly how I see him making an nfl squad)