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Friday tape: ND's first series vs Bama

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Friday, February 01, 2013, 11:54
edited by Jay, Friday, February 01, 2013, 11:58

Revisiting Mike's breakdown of the ND possessions in the NC game. Details here:

I wanted to look at our first offensive possession and see if the plan was worth a shit (or not). Obviously we went three and out, so it didn't work. But I'm still wondering if the choices weren't sound.

First play is the 8-yard out to TJ. Nice completion.

My questions are really about the 2nd & 3rd plays of the series.

Second play is here:

It's 2nd & short. They split Eifert out, Milliner covering. Single safety over the top whom they want to neutralize by releasing Niklas off the line, too. Safety ends up out of the play.


Question: is throwing a sideline jump ball to Eifert all that horrible of an idea? If Golson keeps the ball in bounds, Eifert makes the catch and it's a thirty-yard gain.

Now 3rd & short.

Riddick motions into the backfield. Golson sees Eifert in single coverage and (presumably) changes the play to another downfield pass to Eifert. This time there's no safety help at all.


Again, a single-covered Eifert (even if covered by Milliner) -- a good decision? Hard to argue against it. Heck, he caught the ball both times.

On the other hand, when it's 3rd down, maybe it's safer to grab the first. Still, I'm sure there was an automatic check in that coverage for Golson, and it would have been a big play.



Honestly, I don't know how this game would have gone

by Kevin @, Friday, February 01, 2013, 14:12 @ Jay

if it had started 7-7 and not 14-0. ND was steamrolled on the opening drive, and they most likely would have continued to be steamrolled anyway. But they sure as shit needed something big to happen on 3rd down and again on the punt, and something big did happen on BOTH PLAYS. And they were fucked on both plays.

It seems ridiculous to play any what-ifs in a game that started 28-0, but that second TD was a cut-the-brakes moment in the game. I really don't think we would have gone home humiliated if we'd gotten the relief we needed -- and deserved -- at those early moments.

Those were the worst calls I've seen since the last time the Pac-12 fisted us, at Stanford in 2007.


seeing as our defense didn't show up

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Friday, February 01, 2013, 14:18 @ Kevin

I don't think we would have won the game. But the perception of the loss might've been slightly different, and it might have been a ballgame at halftime instead of a funeral.


It would have been a lot cheaper.

by Kevin @, Friday, February 01, 2013, 14:20 @ Jay
edited by Kevin, Friday, February 01, 2013, 14:32

I spent some time in the bar in the second half.


Dammit, you sucked me in.

by Tim, Chicago, IL, Friday, February 01, 2013, 13:57 @ Jay

If anything, it's mildly fun to remember how much passion we had in the stadium before the truth was revealed to us. I don't think I've ever heard a stadium as loud as when we ran out of the tunnel, although you can't tell as much on TV. But what is noticeable is how loud the boos were on the Eifert and especially the punt drop. My voice was ragged post-game just from that sequence alone, because God knows I was quiet as a church mouse after 14-0.



In most situations the throws to Eifert are the right calls

by Flann, Central New Jersey, Friday, February 01, 2013, 13:20 @ Jay

I would guess that if you ran a simulation, a couple of 50/50 shots at a 30 yard gain are better than a 95% chance of a 2+ yard gain.

But after Alabama rolled downfield against the strength of the team, we really needed a 1st down. A first down would have given the defense a bit more time to clear their heads. It would have been a minor counter punch to Alabama's body blow. Rocky reaching Drago; Doolittle over Tokyo.

It's not quantifiable, but that's how I felt about it. Right call, wrong time. Of course, that's based on my perceptions of the team's emotions. It is possible that Kelly and Golson were in a better position to judge that than I was in Section 423. It's also possible that a more experienced quarterback makes a different call based on the game situation.


I keep harkening back to some of the preseason stuff

by Jeremy (WeIsND), Offices of Babip Pecota Vorp & Eckstein, Friday, February 01, 2013, 12:13 @ Jay

Especially a clip from Martin where he seemed to be heckling the QBs about Eifert "always" being open, and giving him a chance to make a play on the ball.

Wouldn't be surprised if it was hammered into Golson's head that when he saw Eifert in a single-coverage situation, "THROW TO 80!!" was the way to go.

Given the situation in this particular game (Bama has just made mince-meat of your defense, its 3rd and extremely manageable), I think I would have preferred to see a run attempt to get the 1st down. Didn't have any problem with the call on 2nd down at all.


What I'm having trouble wrapping my head around...

by KGB, Friday, February 01, 2013, 13:40 @ Jeremy (WeIsND) how the same coach who was responsible for Eifert catching more passes than any other tight end in the country as a junior has suddenly become The Coach Who Completely Ignores The Tight End. Are you shitting me with that nonsense? I suppose that he could have seen the ball more last year, but that complaint -- and, frankly, most any other nit to pick in a season in which we went TWELVE AND GODDAMN ZERO -- strikes me as a bit weak given how Eifert has been developed within Kelly's offense over the past three seasons.


it was almost an automatic audible this season

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Friday, February 01, 2013, 12:19 @ Jeremy (WeIsND)

No matter the quarterback; Golson, Rees, whomever: see Tyler one on one, throw it to him. It's not a terrible strategy.


I agree. However, Millner was probably the one guy in

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Friday, February 01, 2013, 12:25 @ Jay

the country who could credibly defend Eifert one on one. I think Saban and Smart recognized the regularity of that check and baited Golson to try to make the play against Millner.


Milliner wasn't the issue on either of those

by Jeremy (WeIsND), Offices of Babip Pecota Vorp & Eckstein, Friday, February 01, 2013, 12:38 @ BillyGoat

Both throws were pretty lousy and didn't give Eifert much chance to come down in bounds.

Unfortunately, Golson hasn't shown much skill on those types of throws that require him to put some air under the ball and keep it in play.


and yet Eifert beat Milliner and caught 'em both

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Friday, February 01, 2013, 12:30 @ BillyGoat

[ No text ]


Absolutely. But with Millner out there, it wasn't nearly as

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Friday, February 01, 2013, 12:39 @ Jay

much of a mismatch that we saw in every other game this year. For the first time all year, I felt like those were truly 50-50 balls. Eifert made some great plays, though.


something to contemplate for 2013

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Friday, February 01, 2013, 12:54 @ BillyGoat

For the first time in the Kelly era we won't have a giant-sized receiving threat for those downfield sideline routes and end zone corners. Somebody could emerge (Niklas? D. Smith? Corey Robinson?) but it will be interesting to see how the offensive attack changes without one in the arsenal.


This is the first time I've see the replay of the muff

by Dylan, Santa Barbara, CA, Friday, February 01, 2013, 12:07 @ Jay

I have not been able to bring myself to watch the game yet.

I am not sure I've ever seen a worse call. What a huge, huge blown call.


There are three times in my life

by HullieAndMikes, Joe Turner's bookcase, ALHS, Friday, February 01, 2013, 12:19 @ Dylan

that I thought I was going to be in the middle of a riot.

One of them was in the ND section after the succession of blown calls in the first half before Bama completely exploded our doors off.


Herbstreit was just LAUGHING at the officiating.

by PAK, Friday, February 01, 2013, 12:46 @ HullieAndMikes

I think the mics actually caught him saying "What in the hell is going on here?!?" after the muff was ruled Alabama's ball.

You could hear his and Brent's eyes roll as their officiating consultant said they were all good calls.

Of course the 2nd quarter made that all irrelevant, but still. It was a factor in early momentum.


I don't think we were going to win the game, but it

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Friday, February 01, 2013, 12:49 @ PAK

played a HUGE role in the momentum, as you say. And I think it really helped kick open the floodgates.

If we had managed to get a TD off that fumble recovery, I think we would have been a different team.

The Tide were clearly the better team that night. But the evening may have unfolded differently.

IMO, the most egregious officiating event out of the whole sequence was that the Eifert third down play was not even reviewed (IIRC).


There was even a timeout and they still didn't review it

by CK08, Friday, February 01, 2013, 15:35 @ BillyGoat

Do we think it would have been a catch if they had?


Yes. But I actually don't even care about that as much as

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Friday, February 01, 2013, 15:36 @ CK08

it was totally egregious that it wasn't reviewed.


There are three total failures of officiating on that play

by Dylan, Santa Barbara, CA, Friday, February 01, 2013, 12:34 @ HullieAndMikes

- Farley was blocked in the back
- Farley did not touch the return man
- It looks to me like the second Bammer actually touched the ball, which (correct me if I'm wrong) would rule out the claim that it was Moore who interfered by not allowing the return man to field the ball "cleanly" as he was juggling it.


I'm not so sure about #3.

by Kumar, Friday, February 01, 2013, 18:46 @ Dylan

In the NFL at least, a muffed punt doesn't become a live ball until it hits the ground. In essence, the returner still has the right to the ball until it's an out and out drop. I distinctly remember seeing a muffed punt recovery overturned in an NFL game last year for this very reason (the gunner picked the ball out of the air on a bobble), and I was extremely surprised.

Of course, the college rule may be different, and that is not what the referees called, even after the replay.


No. 1 is correct. No. 2 is correct, but irrelevant, I

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Friday, February 01, 2013, 12:40 @ Dylan

believe. And I don't remember No. 3.


Two is relevant

by CK08, Friday, February 01, 2013, 15:33 @ BillyGoat

There is no halo rule anymore. Merely being near the returner is not a penalty.


Depends on the definition of "in front of"

by Dylan, Santa Barbara, CA, Friday, February 01, 2013, 16:13 @ CK08

Also on the number of angels on the head of a pin.


four: invalid fair catch signal

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Friday, February 01, 2013, 12:40 @ Dylan

Valid Signal
ARTICLE 2. A valid signal is a signal given by a player of Team B who has obviously signaled his intention by extending one hand only clearly above his head and waving that hand from side to side of his body more than once.


Yes. And is there a timing aspect to that rule as well?

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Friday, February 01, 2013, 12:41 @ Jay

Because it sure seemed like an extremely late signal to me, as well.


Way late. Ball was practically on top of him.

by KGB, Friday, February 01, 2013, 13:35 @ BillyGoat

[ No text ]


That all jibes with my memory

by HullieAndMikes, Joe Turner's bookcase, ALHS, Friday, February 01, 2013, 12:39 @ Dylan

I still do not have the energy to rewatch any part of that game and I'm not sure when I will. The accumulation of officiating errors is all the more depressing considering it's debatable whether it would have really made a difference in outcome.


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