dragonchild

October 13th, 2013 at 2:50 PM ^

There is no such thing as a cynical dog.  There are cowardly dogs, playful dogs, vicious dogs, loyal dogs. . . but a dog will either bite, bark or hump your leg and in any case you will always know the score.  There is no social complexity in a dog's life.  So when a dog looks up a human being with eagerness and innocence in its eyes, only to be set on fire by an asshole, unless you're a psychopath you feel emotional pain.

These players aren't dogs, but the same lack of cynicism applies.  They were told that they will be put in a position to succeed if they did EXACTLY as they were told.  They were recruited and conditioned to buy into the system.  The value of their scholarships aside, AT LEAST the assumption is that the work will pay off in the form of victory on the field.  That's what they bust their butts off for, so it kills me when that effort is pissed away.

The coaches last night took all that faith and trust and gave the players specific orders that would cause them to LOSE the game.  Don't put the opponent away.  Don't do what's been working.  Do what HASN'T been working, keep the opponent in the game, play scared.  It took PSU a LOT of tries but eventually Michigan finally managed to blow it for good.

If you're willing to take the responsibility of leadership by fiat and deliver, fine.  Or if not, make your case and win them over with merit.  But don't demand unquestioning obedience and then march the army into a no-man's land to feed your own damned stubborn ego.  The run game was practically moving backwards yet seven of the last nine plays in regulation were runs into nowhere when a field goal puts the game away?  That's not strategy; that's a damned Black Adder skit:

    Melchett: Field Marshal Haig has formulated a brilliant new tactical plan to ensure final victory in the field.
    Blackadder: Ah. Would this brilliant plan involve a Toussaint run into a stacked box?
    Captain Darling: How could you possibly know that, Blackadder? It's classified information!
    Blackadder: It's the same plan that we used last time and the seventeen times before that.
    Melchett: Exactly! And that is what is so brilliant about it! It will catch the watchful Penn State defense totally off guard! Doing precisely what we've done eighteen times before is exactly the last thing they'll expect us to do this time! There is, however, one small problem.
    Blackadder: That everyone always gets slaughtered in the first ten seconds.
    Melchett: That's right. And Field Marshal Haig is worried this may be depressing the men a tad. So he's looking for a way to cheer them up.
    Blackadder: Well, his resignation and suicide seems the obvious choice.

I really want the coaches to own this one, but I doubt they will.  When they say they're accountable it's only on vague terms they dictate.  Exception being Mattison who will go out and say, "I told this guy to do this and it was wrong," though I will be very interested to see what he has to say about that last-drive collapse.

TIMMMAAY

October 13th, 2013 at 12:31 PM ^

Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Maybe it'll work this time...
Well that's strange.

M-Dog

October 13th, 2013 at 2:05 PM ^

+ 1,000,000 . . . 

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+ 1,000,000 . . . 

+ 1,000,000 . . . 

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+ 1,000,000 . . . 

+ 1,000,000 . . . 

You win MGoBlog.

SDCran

October 13th, 2013 at 1:27 PM ^

When the team went first in OT, Fitz had a total of 1 carry for 3 yards (and there really was a huge hole on the play). Other than that they played aggressive-ish.

When they needed a grinding drive to put the game away, like the style or not, they made 3 first downs and ran 5:30 off the clock, in what should have sealed the game but for a highly unlikely last minute.

Before that long slow drive, Fitz had ~15 carries for the game, not exactly banging your head on a wall.

What you remember as wasting fruitless carries to Fitz was when they had game winning 40 and 33 yard FGs set up. ( and the 33 yarder came after a pass to Gallon). Setting up your usually consistent kicker for relatively easy kicks isn't exactly conservative in that situation. It is conventional (ie just like Taxas A&M did for the win last night)

dragonchild

October 13th, 2013 at 1:50 PM ^

"Setting up your usually consistent kicker for relatively easy kicks isn't exactly conservative in that situation. It is conventional"

And that's exactly what Michigan did NOT do in the last drive of regulation.  They needed to get Gibbons closer to put the game away; they decided to milk the clock instead.  They got lucky on two straight 3rd-and-longs and then opted to run-run-run and went BACKWARDS, then opting to punt.  Then the defense went away from what was working and allowed PSU to cross the field in 30 seconds.

The one time they could've used Gibbons conventionally, they declined to do so.  From that point they were FORCED to be aggressive in OT because they HAD to score.

snarling wolverine

October 13th, 2013 at 2:48 PM ^

The delay of game penalty obviously was a big blunder and really hurt us there, but aside from that I don't have a big problem with that drive.  We ran all but 50 seconds off the clock and forced PSU to burn all three timeouts.  If we hadn't run the ball, an incomplete pass would have given them a free timeout.  

We put PSU in a position where it basically needed a miracle to tie the game.  Now, incredibly they got that miracle, but the vast majority of the time, teams do not go 80 yards in 50 seconds with no timeouts.  

 

 

dragonchild

October 13th, 2013 at 3:00 PM ^

The delay of game turned 3rd and 9 into 3rd and 14.  it wasn't the problem.

We got lucky with a PI call which extended the drive, and another was extended by Gardner's legs -- but it's a lot to keep asking DG to make 10 yards on 3rd down after 3rd down the way Borges did.  In the last three sets the closest we got was 3rd and 7.  Just because a plan worked -- if temporarily -- doesn't mean it wasn't crazy.

If we so much as hit a chip-shot field goal, PSU's timeouts wouldn't have mattered at all.  And if they scored we would've wanted those 50 seconds back anyway.  A miracle wouldn't have mattered.

You have it backwards.  It wasn't the offense's efforts that forced PSU to need a miracle to win.  It was the gawdawful playcalling of Borges that allowed PSU within a miracle to stay in the game in the first place.  If PSU's last drive was staring at a 10-point lead instead of 7, the timeouts, the miracles -- none of that would've mattered.  And we arguably could've been up 14.  PSU's last drive only mattered because Borges never went for the killshot and instead turned into Field Marshall Haig.

And if the plan to be aggressive backfired?  Well, given the distance we still could've punted anyway, and if we didn't get a stop (we didn't) it'd be up to them to either try to score quickly (they did) OR bleed clock -- and a TD only tied the score.  I mean, what's the downside?  A few extra ticks that WE could've used if they tied it??

Michigan had a 7-point lead and they played like it was 3.

dragonchild

October 13th, 2013 at 4:50 PM ^

Borges called a Fitz run on 3rd and 14 that lost another 3 yards.  A run that hasn't been working all night on 3rd and 14.  I'm just. . . ack.  If five yards was killer, what was Borges pissing away another 3 after that?  If the next play was a pass that resulted in an incompletion or an "arm punt" pick. . . well, we basically put PSU's offense back on the field without scoring ANYWAY.

Don't get me wrong; both were bad news.  But the outcome of this game was decided by a lot more than just those five yards.