There has been much discussion about the fourth down calls made in the Northwestern. Go or don’t go - which is right and which is wrong. As fans, we always know the correct answer because we have the benefit of hindsight and hindsight is never wrong. I know this because I am reminded by fans sometimes when I get emails after a game telling me what a moron I was for whatever prediction I made that was wrong. I never get these types of emails before a game.
I found the fourth down decisions puzzling at the time, in hindsight (there’s that word again) what bothered me more than Scott Frost’s fourth down decisions was when he took a knee to let regulation expire tied with Northwestern.
In 1998, the Minnesota Vikings were rolling. They were 15-0 and headed into the NFC Championship game against Atlanta. The game is tied, 27-27, and the Vikings have the ball on their own 30 with 30 seconds left. They have Randall Cunningham and Randy Moss to lead the most explosive offense in NFL history. Coach Dennis Green decides to take a knee and let the game go into overtime, where Minnesota LOSES because letting their fans down is something the Vikes have done every year of their existence.
20 years later, Green is still known as “Take a Knee Denny.”
That’s what I thought of when Frost decided to run out the clock.
Nebraska has an explosive, but still developing quarterback in Adrian Martinez. JD Spielman is a receiver which few teams in this nation can cover. Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald just did you a huge favor kicking it short.
And you still don’t take a shot downfield just to see if you can score? To see what will happen? What was there to lose?
Nebraska - Northwestern 2018 wasn’t the NFC Championship game, but it was a game of historic proportions in that it sent Nebraska to 0-6 for the first time in school history. I hope “Take a Knee Scott” isn’t something we’re saying in another year. I have faith that it won’t.
$5 BITS OF BROKEN CHAIR TROPHY
This is a fundraiser. The guys who have organized this beautiful trophy and brought it back to life are raising money for charities - the Team Jack Foundation and the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.
You can contribute here - please do. Right now, they are around $3800, far short of their $10,000 goal.
They are having events this week:
What:Tailgaiting Extravaganza! Where:Downtown Lincoln, NE When:Saturday, October 20th 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Get to an event! Contribute! Be alive! WOooooooo!!!! If nothing else, get to Blue Bloods and have that Imperial Stout!
Forget the Fullback
As I traverse the hell that is social media, other message boards, and the like I see comments from fans about using the fullback on short yardage plays; third and two, fourth and one.
It always worked before, why wouldn’t it work now?
It worked before because Nebraska had the offensive lines that could push people off the ball. Sometimes it was easy, particularly in the Osborne years. The line outmatched their opponents. That is no longer the case.
Frost’s offense spreads offensive players out across the field, forcing defenders to cover them. That pulls defenders out to the edge instead of allowing them to stack the middle. That means there are less defenders to block in the middle of the field.
The middle of our offensive line doesn’t overpower our opponents. The middle is frequently blown up. A fullback would only add another body for our running back to try to get through on his way to picking up a first down.
That’s as easy an explanation as it gets. A fullback isn’t going to make any difference in our fourth-down conversion rate.
It doesn’t matter that it’s worked in the past. It would not work now.
What would work now is better execution.
If you can’t understand all of this, I can’t help you. When this offense starts executing on a consistent basis, everyone will forget about the fullback. You can bring it up just to be a curmudgeonly old son of a bitch. I’d suggest at that point you just grumble into your shitty PBR under your breath about the “good old days” and let the rest of us be.
In no particular order because I’m lazy.
NCAA Week 7 Big Ten Team of the Week | NFL Draft news and analysis | Pro Football Focus
Take another look at the standout performances from Week 7 in the Big Ten. Devine Ozigbo received a nice, high grade.
Minnesota Football: Mohamed Ibrahim named B1G Freshman of the Week - The Daily Gopher
The redshirt freshman back rushed for 157 yards and scored two touchdowns against the Buckeyes
Indiana is trending downward after an embarrassing display against Iowa. Should we start worrying about the coaching staff?
I wonder if they edited the profanity out of this, because I can tell you that if we posted our Slackchats verbatim, there’d be a lot more fucking swearing that appears here.
Shared responsibility among Illini after blowout loss - The Champaign Room
Smith, Smith, and Bush all acknowledged a poor Homecoming showing.
Drafting college football coaches we’d least want to fight - SBNation.com
And then it’s your turn in the comments.
Livid college football fan reactions, led by Georgia, Penn State, Miami - SBNation.com
Let’s check in with Georgia, Washington, Penn State, and Miami fans after their devastating losses.
Iowa State’s DINOSAUR MARCHING BAND, explained by band director - SBNation.com
Iowa State’s band director explains the whole, complicated trick play.
130-team college football rankings: No. 1 is obvious, and then what? - SBNation.com
Freshly updated S&P+ rankings through the sixth week of 2018’s college football season.
Nebraska is 0-6 and ranked #69.
The College Football Empires Map, updated after Week 7 chaos - SBNation.com
Every FBS team started with land, and every week winners take more and more.
Nebraska doesn't even exist anymore.
Then There’s This
Rodgers was upstaged by C.J. Beathard for most of the night. Then he wasn’t.
At least I still have the Packers.