Saturday, September 17, 2011

Did the Ohio State Buckeyes Coach Give Up On His Team Against Miami?

It's going to be a painful season for Buckeye fans everywhere.  Ohio State looks to be pretty underwhelming in a lot of ways, but most glaringly at quarterback and head coach.

Jim Tressel left the team pretty bare of quarterback talent once Terrelle Pryor left.  Joe Bauserman started at quarterback tonight, but by the start of the fourth quarter had more passing attempts (15) than actual yards (13) (stat courtesy of Bruce Feldman, CBS).  Ohio State will have to give a longer look at Braxton Miller this week in practice in advance of the game against Colorado next week.

However, I reserve the biggest criticism for the head coach for one glaring error of judgement at the end of the game.

Coach Fickell, do you not know what timeouts are for???

Miami got the ball in the fourth quarter, up six, with 9:21 to go.  Then they took a time-consuming, lengthy march down the field that ate up virtually the rest of the game clock.  It was a magnificent display of ball control from the Hurricanes.

With roughly a little over three minutes left in the game, the Hurricanes got the ball down to the Buckeyes' six-yard line for 1st and Goal.  Then it was 2nd and Goal.  3rd and Goal.

Fickell NEVER called timeout!!  The Buckeyes had three timeouts left, and if they had managed to cause a turnover, would have been a touchdown away from winning the game with a scoring drive.  However, Fickell stood on the sideline with a dazed expression on his face the whole time as if he was just waiting for the game to be done.

Finally, with roughly 36 seconds left in the game, someone called timeout.  However, it was the Hurricanes, trying to put together one last scoring play and eating up as much clock in the process as they could.  They then tried a fourth and goal play which resulted in a score.  I repeat, HAD they not made it, the Buckeyes would have gotten the ball back.  Granted, it would have been inside the five, but still only needing to score a touchdown.  That would have been tough with roughly 30 seconds left to go in the game.

It doesn't matter how many timeouts you have, you have maybe 3-4 plays max to run with that much time left.  Michigan managed to score a touchdown without taking a timeout in that situation against Notre Dame last week, but that was Denard Robinson.  The Buckeyes were going to need more time.

I juts couldn't believe what I was seeing.  There was a point where Fickell looked up at the clock before that Fourth and Goal play looking as if he was about to make the signal for the timeout.  That was after he had left 20 seconds run off the clock.

It was either a complete lack of judgement on his part, or the virtual throwing in of the towel.  Either way, Fickell has some explaining to do.

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