Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Richt's clock management, under further review

Ok, I didn't re-watch the entire game last night. But I did subject myself to the closing seconds of regulation. A number of conflicting comments have been made about what transpired, so I cued the last minute up mostly to clear up my own understanding of everything thing that happened. But I also figured it would probably be blog-post-worthy. And I was right.

First off, the refs gave Georgia more time than was due after the pass to Conley at the two yard line was eventually ruled incomplete. That pass was ruled complete with :31 seconds left. They correctly overturned the call on the field, but reset the clock at :38 seconds. I didn't catch that in the stands Saturday. I'm sure some of you did. But it's worth noting that this error likely cost Georgia the game as much as anything. If Morgan had squibbed it with :11 seconds left instead of :18, that may have been the final play.
"Hows about I find some kind of way at the end of this game to
get you that contract extension Paul?"

Ok, maybe not. But still interesting to debate, iyam.

What's more relevant (to me at least) is something my partner Nama caught immediately when it happened - inexplicably, Richt helped Tech avoid a costly penalty and in so doing gave their kicker a chance to extend the game into overtime.

After the Conley incompletion at the two, we run Chubb for a couple yards and Tech calls their last timeout. This proved critical at the end of regulation as Justin Thomas runs out of bounds with four seconds left. Coach Johnson almost immediately decides to pull the offense and send in the kicking unit. There's some confusion initially on both sides, but Georgia is set and ready well before the Tech kicker gives a warm up kick with 16 seconds on the play clock. By the time their kicker is side stepping his mark and preparing to line it up, the play clock is down to five seconds.

Richt calls a timeout.

The ONLY reason to call a timeout in that situation is because you have more than 11 players on the field. We didn't. That kicker was 1) about to get a delay of game penalty, therefore backing the kick up five steps, or 2) about to rush his kick and most likely shank it.

I've almost finished a post on why folks need to back off the FIRE THAT GUY ledge. If I do say so myself, it's beautifully with balanced with the chief concerns I have with Richt as Georgia's head coach. The first of which may be clock management, or simply game management as a whole. It's a concern that dates back to his first season as a head coach. Between then and now there have been many games where it's not been an issue, others where the clock has been handled perfectly, and still others where you're just left dumbfounded.

Go ahead and chalk Saturday's season finale up in the last category.