Coaches and Crunch Time Decisions

Justin Fuente had a tough day on Saturday. (Photo by Ivan Morozov)

I almost begged out of an article this week because 1) I didn’t want to watch this game again and 2) the biggest story was the last two calls on offense (and I hate critiquing play calls).

But those last two calls were the biggest story of the game, both because they were pivotal and because they were the culmination of in-game trends. Just to preface, I feel for Fuente and Cornelsen. I really do.  They tried to break out of their conservative play-calling style (which I still endorse) and play aggressively, but it blew up in their faces. This is an offense that just can’t get out of its own way. As examples, here are the last three plays on the first quarter drive that ended with a field goal:

–Bush comes in at QB to run a QB power with a toss fake tagged on. Bush doesn’t read the defense right and runs to a defender’s free arm for short gain.

–Jackson comes back in and the play is an H-back lead run to Jalen Holston that has him attacking the left side. Meanwhile, GT calls a follow blitz to the offensive right. No one does anything about the blitz; from the way the linebackers key, it looks like they have respective QB/tailback assignments, so no matter who gets the ball on the mesh, there’ll be a linebacker there. On the front side, Osterloh tries to draw the DE with a pass set, but gets chucked aside.  DE and linebackers converge on Holston, yardage is lost. Structurally, that was a pass blitz because it left gaps uncovered, but GT figured they could get there on the backside versus a run based on how the blitzers took assignments.