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Article:Hey Coach: Move the Ball to the Middle of the Field

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If there was one thing that bothered me about this weekend’s games it was 2 coaches eschewing the chance to move the ball to the middle of the field for late game field goals. The coaches I’m talking about are Wake Forests Jim Grobe and South Florida’s Jim Leavitt.

Wake Forest was down a point with a minute or so to go in the game they drive down the field late and get it to the 23 yard line with about 15 or so seconds to go and a timeout remaining. The ball was on one of the hashmarks and it was second down and 4. Grobe elects to throw 2 passes that go incomplete and then try the field goal. Unfortunately while it's only a 40 yard field goal for one of the nations best/most experienced kickers it is from the hashmark not the middle of the field. Luckily for Grobe they make the kick, but all I keep thinking is wouldn’t it have been smarter to run the ball to the middle of the field and then use your timeout and kick the field goal? While I may not be a kicker personally, kicking the ball from an angle is clearly tougher then kicking it straight on.

Later in the day Jim Leavitt makes a similar decision (maybe it’s a Jim thing). UCF tied the game late, but South Florida came down and had a chance to win the game in regulation with a field goal. Leavitt had a chance to move it to the middle of the field but didn’t and unlike with Grobe’s decision it did backfire as the kid missed the field goal wide left I believe. Had the ball been in the middle of the field and he kicks the same kick the ball goes in. Who knows if he kicks the same kick from the middle of the field then as from the left hash, but I like my chances better in the middle of the field.

Now maybe the reason I haven’t heard anything about these decisions is because both men won their games, but they both seemed like silly decisions to me.


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