Let Iowa Score?

Submitted by Sten Carlson on November 13th, 2016 at 1:19 AM
First off ... Fucking Kinnick. Night games there are Michigan's historical nemisis. Sucks, and I'm not surprised. Iowa's DL totally dominated our OL and our LB's were exposed. A lot of people in here were worried about both those units preseason. Seems like some holes that were papered over were exposed by a fired up Iowa team. Why not let Iowa score after the facemasking call put them right outside FG range? To me, there's no hope in watching a team drain the clock and set up for the winning kick. Yes, they miss them from time to time, and yes some kicks are blocked. But, why not take the kill shot away from them? Sure, people would second guess you if it didn't work, but at least you have a CHANCE to come back. As it was, there's no chance at all. It just seems defeatist to just sit and watch the clock, hoping for (serval) big TFL(s) that hadn't been there all game, a fumble, or a missed/blocked chip shot FG. *should I duck or stand defiently?* OL


Sten Carlson

November 13th, 2016 at 1:37 AM ^

I agree, maybe. But, it's the kill shot thing I was talking about. I look at it like sacrificing a queen in chess. Yes, it sucks, and you're down (most likely). But, if it puts you in better position, then you have to try it. In this case, down 5 with time and timeouts is better than down 1 with 0:00 showing. Now, that outcome isn't inevitable, but with the latter there's no initiative, no ability to get a momentum (to stay with the chess analogy) only hope and a prayer.

Sten Carlson

November 13th, 2016 at 1:47 AM ^

Again, I agree ... Sorta.

To me waiting for him to miss is passive, and passive usually doesn't win football games. Now, you're right, statically, it's probably the "correct play." But, it's more the momentum play, the shock, that just might tip the balance. I just don't like passive. Try SOMETHING rather than just sitting there letting the clock tick away and hoping for a miss.


November 13th, 2016 at 3:29 PM ^

To me, it seemed that the tactic was to stop them, force the field goal, and then have enough time to try our own field goal. Thats why the time outs were called on defense. Unfortunately, Beathard's scramble to get a first down ended that. Was a decent job at a block attempt. Wormley got through, but the kick went to the other side.

A Lot of Milk

November 13th, 2016 at 1:39 AM ^

At the very least, it makes no sense not to stop the clock with that extra timeout. Make them kick the fg with a minute to go so you at least know if you have to score or not.


November 13th, 2016 at 2:01 AM ^

Are you suggesting we turtle, let them score like a bunch of pussies and then do something we haven't done at all in the second half and march purposefully down the field with probably less than a minute on the clock? Don Brown and/or Harbaugh aren't going to let them do that.

Also our D had a chance with 3 TOs in their last possesion to stop them at the top end of their kicker's range to atleast make it a challenging FG. That didn't happen obviously but they didn't really get into the redzone until Beathard dove for it. Letting a team score willingly outside the 20 is bullshit and makes us look fucking pathetic. Either stop someone or die trying.

Sten Carlson

November 13th, 2016 at 2:05 AM ^

Completely false ... After the penalty. At that point you've got one chance to win -- the kick being no good -- no matter where it was kicked from. But, by letting them score, you guarantee your team at least one chance to win the game -- the ensuing kickoff (remember Pepper's) and likely at least one more chance on 1st down. Two chances, in which you have the ball, are better than one chance in which they have the ball. Further, more than likely, Michigan would have had 4 chances to win the game (or more) after the kick off.

I don't think it would have been a pussy move, it would have been a desperation move to try anything to win when the odds are stacked decidedly against you, that could have turned into a genius move.

Heck, just a wild kick return play with Peppers is a better chance than just getting bleed and hoping for a missed/blocked kick.


November 13th, 2016 at 2:08 AM ^

If we'd gotten the stop on third down we would have used the last time out and forced them to kick with 30+ seconds left on the clock. There was literally no point when letting them score was the only way to get the ball back.


November 13th, 2016 at 2:23 AM ^

I think our best shot was a missed field goal. It was a terrible punt to put them there and then a bad call. We probably should have been less conservative when we had the ball. All we needed was a first down.

Sten Carlson

November 13th, 2016 at 2:29 AM ^

How can your best chance be letting Iowa control and have the kill shot? A TD isn't a kill shot as long as we have a chip and a seat! Yes, it's a life-threatening wound, but we could get medical care before bleeding out. Iowa should have done the same against MSU last year. In both games the team with the ball just bled the clock and the defense stood there helplessly watching.

Much must be risked in battle and sometimes (often times) simply siezing the initiative can turn the tide.

The Fan in Fargo

November 13th, 2016 at 10:50 AM ^

Dude just shutup. They played their best game of the year and Michigan played obviously their worst. That Iowa crowd and their screaming is enough to make you go insane and not do anything productive. I was there in 2013 when Ruduck was their QB and it was 0 degrees. That same fan base was happier than hogs in shit and I couldn't feel my feet for 3 hours. You tell me that ins't a bunch of inbred loonies who burn a steady diet of field corn in the tank. Loud noise aimed directly at your ear holes in a helmet is impossible to overcome. Not many of us can attest to what that team faced lastnight.


November 13th, 2016 at 2:43 AM ^

My TiVo and the superimposed 1st down marker indicate that Iowa got an extremely favorable spot on the 3rd and 7 with 30 seconds left.  My take is that we should have challenged the line to gain.  If the refs take back the phantom 1.5 yards from the spot then we force Iowa to kick the field goal with 30 seconds left on the clock.  Not a ton of time to work with, but better than the walk off they ended up with.

Amaizin' Blue

November 13th, 2016 at 8:07 AM ^

In this situation, with this defense, and they have a freshman kicker. No you never let them score

That is only an option when you have already let them inside the 10 and have an offense that has proven it can move the ball

I have seen it work but mostly in the NFL and with Brady/Belichek. Obviously not the same with our 18-22 year olds.

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November 13th, 2016 at 5:13 AM ^

With the offensive play calling tonight -TERRIBLE, and Speights obvious discomfort with his shoulder in the second half the only chance I think they had was try and stop them.

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November 13th, 2016 at 7:38 AM ^

It seems that most are pretty disappointed with everything we did with the ball after Stribling's INT. I thought we had probably sealed the game with that, but we went full on Lloyd Carr in play calling while Iowa had dominated our run game all night and they had all 3 TOs left.

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Amaizin' Blue

November 13th, 2016 at 8:03 AM ^

No. Full out car would not have run a wildcat with a defensive player on 2nd down.

And he definitely would not have passed on 3rd. Hate to say it but in hindsight a run there takes more time off which may have helped

Either way a terrible punt and terrible face mask call doomed us

Is it possible the punt was so bad because Allen is overused? What can we do about that? Probably nothing but hope it doesn't hurt us again

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November 13th, 2016 at 8:08 AM ^

If I was going to re-consider any off-the-wall game theory approaches, I might think about surprise punting on 3rd and long on our final possession. We passed on that down so didn't take much time off the clock and didn't force them to use their timeout (and didn't get the first down). The additional length of field that they would have had to drive could have been the difference. Our defense was doing a good enough job -- certainly on the pass.


November 13th, 2016 at 8:11 AM ^

would have been to approach that last drive the way you'd approach a drive in the 1st quarter. Don't even think about the clock. With them having 3 timeouts there's just no way you're going to drain the clock significantly enough in any event for the clock to become a major issue for them.

There's a higher probability of making the required 1st down if you do that, but even if you throw 3 passes and go 3 and out, there would still be like 1:38 or so on the clock which leaves you in pretty much exactly the same situation except Iowa would still have timeouts. But how are they of use to them? They're more likely to run out of downs than time given the scenario. If anything it would increase the chance for them to kick a FG with perhaps 30 seconds left which gives us another shot (albeit a long one but better than none).

The issue here is IMO that a lot of routine attitudes held by coaches in football today still come from a time where being a score down with 2 minutes left is a big deal, where the 2 minute drill was seen as a 'hero' scenario -  rather than the reality of today's game where you can see 3 touchdowns scored in under 2 minutes on a pretty much weekly basis.

Harbaugh is not as stodgy and conservative as he likes to pretend but yesterday he coached down to Ferentz's level and that favored Iowa whose special teams effort basically won the game for them. You got into a game with them where their punter could earn MVP basically and that's not where you want to be.


November 13th, 2016 at 8:35 AM ^

I think they figured they could get that third down stop. Which would leave 30 seconds on the clock. After Allen nailed that 51 yarder they might've felt that was the only chance.