Sunday, November 15, 2009

The reality of clock management

One of the areas that I will be critical of Spaz in my write up will be his ultra conservative game management. After moving the ball out of our own end successfully with run and pass, Spaz starting killing clock once we got to midfield. The problem with that idea was that there was still way too much time left on the clock. Sure he forced Groh to burn his timeouts, but timeouts are fairly disposable in college football. Because the clock stops with a first down, you can easily drive the field with two minutes and never need a time out. Take a look at just this one example of actual elapsed time during Virginia's final drive.

After a few first downs, UVA has the ball at midfield. There is 1:38 left. The clock is stopped because of the first down. Sewall is throwing.

He checks down (which BC is giving him) and completes a pass for seven yards. Notice it only took him two seconds to complete the pass.

Virginia is in two-minute mode so they line up quickly and are ready to run the next play. The clock reads 1:22.

So let's review. By design BC wanted to force something underneath to keep the clock moving. That worked. UVA completed the pass short of first down. Just what BC wanted. Yet they only ran off 16 seconds and are now in BC territory. Is that really a winning strategy?

Spaz has seen plenty of comeback in college football. Why is he still going so conservative now that he is calling the shots? On BC's final third down, we ran off ten seconds and forced Virginia to burn its last timeout. If we had thrown on 3rd down would the game have been that different? That ten seconds and 1 TO is not what won the game.

The results of close games tends to even out over time. So far Spaz is 3-1 in close games this year. If he keeps playing so conservatively another one is going to go the wrong way.


customerservice said...

Not to sound like a conspiracy nut but was it just me or was the clock operator really slow to start the clock in the last 5 minutes after each play... really smacked of a shameful home bias. Swofford should really look into this type of crap. Once the ball is set after a first down the clock is supposed to start (but it never seemed to start until VA hiked the ball and then was 1-2 seconds slow). I didn't tape the game so can't watch a replay but I think this happened at least 5 times on the last possession by both BC and VA.

Someone who taped please watch the last 5 minutes of the game please tell me I'm crazy...

mmason said...

Custom/serve-- You're not crazy.You can watch the game on espn360 for free in replay...and I think your suspicions will be somewhat justified--referee and clock mngmt voodoo was rife in the last seven minutes...but our soft cushion pass defense pretty much handed the game to Sewell, as ATL's illustrations indicate. What ever happened to stunting at the defensive line of scrimmage and corner blitz's and good stuff like that?

Are our guys so poor on pass protect that we have to concede 60 to 80 yards in short passes + YAC's in EVERY game in the 4th quarter?

Watch the replay of the final VA series on espn360 and weep...with a closing sigh of relief that we escaped with a hapless win, with some of our kids stopping the bleeding with gutsy plays at the brink of disaster on both sides of the ball...

Did it seem as if the coaches just didn't realise how predictable we must have been on film to allow VA to play us so tough?

Was Gunny hurt some in the 3rd qtr? Did Shinskie get dinged in the throwing hand early in the second half? The game ball better've gone to Montel,'cuz he never quit and pulled yards out of his helmet to keep BC alive down the stretch. The guy is a warrior.

Final questions: ATL--Why aren't we throwing to Montel more? Do you think the O-line gave Shinskie plenty of time but he continued to to check down slowly,and focused on only a few receivers, then lost his poise with late passes, loss of poise and bad decisions? He just a frazzeled freshman again...What grade does he get for this one?

As Zippy the Pinhead would say: "It a dilemma."

bcphilly said...

if there is such a thing as a putrid win that was it ...thank God for montel harris , without his toughness , talent and durability we lose that game ... is it just me or is harris under used as a screen/swing pass/ designed receiver out of the backfield ? 10 games and 5 total catches ??? ... wake up coaches , get the ball to the kid in the open field , look what he does in traffic , imagine what he'd do in the open ... ooops , i used a word that this coaching staff is unfamiliar with , IMAGINE ...

Dan said...

Montel is clearly the MVP of the game but was it me or did he look like he had no gas in the middle half of the game? I mean I know it's no secret that we're gonna run but he seemed to hit the line and just stop as opposed to his usual smash that yields 3-4 yards that weren't there. Hope he isn't coming down with mono too. Kinda felt they shoulda ran McCluskey a little more because he just rams the opposing D-Line and softens them up a little for Montel.

mod34b said...

It truly is amazing to see how poorly the end of the game was managed on D and O. The "prevent" mind set almost sank us against Wake, and FSU and now against UVA. Had Ponder or Skinner been the QB yesterday, it might have been a different story.

Was this all on spaz? Tranq and McGovern are also involved. But still, this was very bad overall coaching/game mgt by Spaz.

I think the key was that Herzy did not wear the yellow towel. Karma was lost. He's got to wear taht again for UNC!

anybody watch matt ryan today...he's not looking too good this year. (57 QB rating today . . . hope he snaps out it)

CT said...

The Prevent stinks. But I think you run on 3rd down, burn their TOs, and maximize your chance of winning by forcing them to make a bunch of plays. Play the odds.

We saw what running out of bounds did for Montel and the boys against Wake with 2 mins left. Game would've ended in regulation had he stayed in. We would've punted with 30 secs left.

As a Falcons fan, I've seen every snap by Ryan this year. He's got happy feet and a confidence problem right now. He's made some awful throws. Hopefully just a slump. Maybe he needs a slump-buster. He could find one at Chik-Fil-A.

bobble said...

Agree with CT, I thought running the ball at the end was a good call. Give Montel a chance to pick up the 8 yards and if he doesn't we have a good punter, let him pin them back deep.

Dan, Montel touched the ball 38 times I'm not surprised if he was gased. He played hard and fought. I agree he was the reason we won.

Eagle All Access said...

I think in that situation you gladly take the seven yard gain to watse 16 seconds off the clock. Virginia needed to score a touchdown so they were going to need to try and go deep at some point. BC was smart to only give up the pass for short gain in the middle of the field.

If this is a 3-point game then its a totally different situation, but in this case it worked fine.