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Sorrow Will Come In The End

Box Score

Said Amato post-game:

"I was told there wasn't a buzzer on it. I asked. We couldn't review the play before that becuase we were out of timeouts."

Right after the last play, Amato started running in my direction (i.e., toward the Finley Fieldhouse) and my first thought was, "oh, good, he's coming to apologize to me personally." Turns out he was chasing down the officials to ask why the play wasn't reviewed.

I caught highlights of the game, and I admit that at full speed it did look like the Akron running back got the ball across the goalline, but I'm still wondering why there was no review. I have to assume that they looked at it in the booth and decided it wasn't worth buzzing the officials, but I'm having trouble accepting that. The officials were off the field so quickly that it didn't seem like they gave the booth any time to go over the replay.

This is why we have instant replay in college football, right? To get these outcome-critical calls correct? They decided that Blackman's touchdown catch was worth reviewing, and that score looked a lot more obvious than the Akron TD. Why wouldn't they simply err on the side of caution and take a look at the last play? Had they done so and still found that Akron scored, I'd have still been upset, but I wouldn't have been nearly as angry as I ended up being.

I think it's hilarious though that today, bam, the officials give the touchdown signal and book it out of the stadium, but on that infamous (and similar) play against Carolina in 2004--you know, before instant replay had been instituted--the officials stood around after the TD signal, discussed, and made a bizarre reversal. The rules, it seems, are always bent or ignored to the benefit of the other guys. I'm feeling a little bitter.

"Some game. Before you even ask, if I had to do the 4th down-and-1 over again, I would do the same thing."

"They had about 32 yards in the second half, and in my wildest dreams I would have never thought they could have gone 96. I didn't think it was a gamble."

A field goal did us no good in that situation, which is why going for it was the right call. I liked it at the time and I like it now. The opportunity to go up two scores was worth the risk. It's just too bad we're so terrible in short yardage situations.

According to the box score, there were eight occasions where we needed three or fewer yards for a first down. Of the eight plays we ran in those situations, only two got the yardage needed to move the sticks. We struggled similarly against Appalachian State last week. When you can't convert those--and we were terrible in these spots last year, too--against the likes of Akron and App State, you've got serious problems. We should be able to pound Akron and ASU even when they know what's coming.

Against the Zips, we were 0-3 on third-and-two and 1-1 on third-and-one. In 2005, the average conversion percentage among all I-A schools was around 57% on third-and-twos and upwards of 67% on third-and-ones. We converted about 38% of our third-and-ones last year (6 for 16, to be specific) and were all-around awful in those short third down situations. Relative to the national average, we were worse in third-and-short than we were in third-and-medium and third-and-long. The first two games of this season show that we've not improved in this area, and that is mostly on the offensive line (the rest of the blame is Stone's for his incomplete passes). I don't need to tell you how bad an omen this is.

A few more things:

-- It's good to see that Idiotball is back after a one week hiatus. The Wolfpack committed nine penalties, including a personal foul charged to Andre Brown when he ran onto the field from the bench without a helmet on after we scored to go ahead 17-14. So John Deraney had to kickoff from the 20 and Akron ended up starting their possession at the 33. Deraney's kick went 71 yards--six yards into the endzone if he's kicking from the 35.

-- I haven't seen too much discussion on this, but let me just say that I think the coaches blew it when they called a timeout with 1:18 left. When the timeout was called, it was third-and-five at the Akron 11, which meant we had six more snaps at the most. We did not need 78 seconds. The coaches should have let another 20 seconds run off the clock.

-- Three turnovers today brings the turnover margin to -5 on the season.