LSU/ARK . . . tough loss, but watch the 2nd guessing (long)

Discussion in 'The Tiger's Den' started by LSUfan, Nov 30, 2002.

  1. LSUfan

    LSUfan Founding Member

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    It is not like LSU could've scored a TD if they wanted, but choose not to. It's not like the defensive players on the field would've had a better chance to stop the game winning drive playing another defensive set. Saban didn't have a magic play on his card that promised a TD late in game, but avoided using it to spite the fans. His job is to coach and put our team in the best possible situation to win . . . he did that (by running the clock as far as he could and then put up 3 more points on the board so that it would take a TD to beat them). But then again Saban can't go on the field and force his linemen to get more of a push on 3rd down, he can't go on the field and hold his DB's hands and walk them to their proper position to stop a 50 yard pass or WR from running past them, and he would've been run out of town on a rail had LSU thrown a late 4th quarter int or had lined up his men in a standard D (4-3, 3-4) to try and stop the hail mary (b/c a fans hate the prevent, what the fans hate is when the prevent is not run properly). All the articles today suggest that everone on the LSU sideline knew what was coming in that final drive. Of the DBs interviewed, they said they knew not to let a WR get past them.

    Of course Randell would've like to have more of a lead (which he said in his interview), but Randell hasn't made the best decisions all season and I truely believe Saban trusted his D more than his O to win the game. We have been saying all year that LSU has the nation's top D, but today we all act like we thought Ark could go 80 yards in 30 seconds with no timeouts and score the winning TD against our nation's best defense. There was absolutely nothing wrong with calling a prevent defense to try and stop a 50 yard bomb, that is the best defensive set to stop that type of play in that situation. The problem with the prevent D, is when you allow a team with 5 minutes left catch several over the middle passes and allow them to be in position to score. In the prevent with 30 seconds left and 80 yards to go, the D has all the advatages in that situation. However if you allow a WR to run right past you, then you will get beat no matter what D you run. If we had 4 to 7 guys on the line of scrimmage, then that is 1 to 3 less DBs you can use to defend the long field. You wouldn't line up in the power I to go 80 yards in 3 plays with no timeouts, so you should defend against it . . . but against the pass.

    Overall, that game yesterday was LSU's to lose. The refs didn't take it away from us and ARK was not handed the game by poor coaching. You could say that ARK wanted it more, much the way we spoke of LSU after the Kentucky game or Ole Miss game. It was a tough loss to handle, for the fans/players/coaches . . . but that is the sport of football. Saban couldn't have done anything different, nor would I have wanted him to.
     
  2. MaconGATiger

    MaconGATiger Founding Member

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    I respect your opinion

    but must humbly disagree. Not regarding your defensive points but on offense...

    Football is a game of gambles sometimes. Many of those gambles are cashed in late in the fourth quarter holding a very slim lead. I do feel that Saban/Fisher could have done something different/better. It has been discussed thoroughly here that a different playcall(s) on the last offensive series could have definitely put us in a better position to win the game. Third down, aggresive playcall increases our odds of scoring or at least getting a first down and making it impossible for Arkansas to win
    Gamble: interception or fumble. Reward: sure victory

    4th down: Even a conservative playcall could have gotten us the first. Game over if so.

    Gamble: Again, possible turnover. Reward: Even if we don't get it, their stuck on their 12 or wherever they were. SO they can kick a field goal to tie... that's a risk worth taking. We had outplayed them all day, we probably could have outplayed them in OT. Obviously, if they scored a touchdown we were done anyway.

    I love Nick Saban and I know I am not a coach, much less an NCAA coach but IMO there was a better way to win that game. I'm sure someone with more football savvy can point out my mistakes in logic here but this is my two cents.

    By the way as I sit here and watch UGA play, it still hurts as bad or maybe worse today to think we should be there next week.
     
  3. LSUfan

    LSUfan Founding Member

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    Thank you for your response, and for not just bashing me.

    I just don't see how a "gamble" is a better option than running out the clock and allowing your defense win the game . . . in that situation. These ints and fumbles can also lead to run backs and good field position. My point is that if LSU throws an int for a TD, everybody here would be pissed that Saban took such a foolish gamble. Posters would be claiming that our tough D could've held them. If Mauck is in the game, then the chances that we would've thrown the ball are greater. But Randell has not shown us, the coaches, or anyone that he would've made the perfect read or would've been smart and held onto the ball for a sack if needed. Most likely he would've forced the ball into coverage, or worse he would've been baited into throwing an INT . . . like in other similar sitiuations during the season. Nothing against Randell, but Saban did the right thing not allowing him to lose the game for us by taking a gamble where the odds are against LSU.

    Honestly, we could come up with several different options and situations that would've gave LSU the win. But all of them would be "best case" situations where the option for failure, in the face of gambling, would be higher than expected. Not one single person here can promise that Randell would've made the correct read. No one here can promise that the ARK D wouldn't have made a big play. However, with the SEC West Title on the line, it would've been stupid not to play to your strengths. Did anyone honestly think ARK could travel the length of the field in 30 seconds without timeouts against our D? Did anyone think the DBs would allow a WR to get past them . . . no matter what Defensive set we called? Did anyone really think it was a bad idea to run the clock as far as we could then extend the lead where a TD would have to beat us in the ending seconds of the game?

    Sometimes when second guessing chances and gambling seem like better options when the best option fails to work. INTs and incomplete passes have hurt LSU all year, and I don't blame Saban for not taking the chance. Saban could've gambled and failed, then everyone would be second guessing why we didn't try to run out the clock and add 3 points to the lead. I seriously doubt posters here would be happy with losing on taking chances and gambling when the reward was so great.

    I wanted to win as much as anyone, but not at the risk of putting our 2nd string QB in a situation to lose the game . . . when we have what is considered to be one of top defensive units in the country. I just can't understand how gambling with under a minute left in the game is a better option than being in the situation of having your top ranked defense on the field to stop ARK from scoring a TD. I remember seeing Josh Booty lose a game for us when asked to throw the ball in the final minutes of the game rather than running out the clock . . . we gambled and lost in that situation. I don't see how that is better.
     
  4. EliteLSU1

    EliteLSU1 Founding Member

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    I agree with Lsu FAn...

    If the ball Randall had been thrown was intercepted and ran back everyone would have been bashing that call. If we would've tried blitzing and still lost with two pass plays, he would have been bashed for not being in the Prevent. It is too easy to second guess.
    It just wasn't meant to be. He played the percentages(which were very much in our favor and lost) and that is why they are called percentages. They're would be no reason to play the games once the "Line" comes out picking a favorite team. There is always a chance to win or lose.
     
  5. LSU4Life

    LSU4Life Founding Member

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    I'm a huge Saban fan, and I think he's great for LSU. I'm not arguing the Field Goal point, but I would like to take issue with your prevent defense stance. No one's saying that the enemy offense is going to line up in the power I in that situation, and no one says we should line up 4-3 or 3-4 in the same situation. Quarterback pressure is a crucial part of pass defense. If they have 4 or 5 wide, then there's no one back to protect the QB, and it's hard as hell to complete a bomb when you're running for your life. I've caught a few Eagle games here lately for some reason, and I've seen the commentators praise their defensive coordinator, because when the Eagles have a lead, the defense doesn't sit back and give ground. They keep attacking.

    I'm happy with this season, and am proud of the coaches, players and the program. I think great things are to come for LSU and us fans in '03!

    Geaux Tigers!
     
  6. tigermark

    tigermark Rematches suck!

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    Re: Re: LSU/ARK . . . tough loss, but watch the 2nd guessing (long)

    I think that blitzing this that situation would have been very dangerous. For example, if we would have blitzed on the last play of the Ole Miss game, their little hook and ladder thingy could have worked!!! The prevent saved us!!!

    The prevent is there to give up 20 or so yards and prevent them from scoring in one play. Period. Make them take 4 perfect plays in 40 seconds to move 80 yards. Keep people in front of them and double cover any pass over 20 yards. To do anything else at that point in the game is to give Arky the chance to win the game in ONE play instead of forcing them to do it in four.

    But, the players blew it. They were put in the correct position and they blew it. If they would have been in the incorrect position (blitzing) and blew it, then the coaches would have been at fault. You hate to lay blame on kids, but that is the cold hearted reality. I don't know about you, but I have no problem accepting that. Next year when those same players go out there and make a huge play, you can stand up and cheer and enjoy the fact that this kid overcame adversity (does Hookfin ring a bell, he was burned MANY times in past years and turned out pretty good!).

    No amount of game day coaching is going to keep the players from blowing it. They put the players in position that minimizes the chance that the players will blow it. Put them in a blitzing situation and Arky has a good chance of scoring on one play if one player blows it (and 1v1 coverage is much easier to blow than having 2 DBs trying to knock down a 60 yard bomb). We had 4 players blow it on 2 different plays.
     

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