Michigan lost a heartbreaking four-overtime game (a game the Wolverines had numerous chances to win) to Penn State this past Saturday at Beaver Stadium. And while it’s just Michigan’s first loss of the season, coach Brady Hoke is already getting plenty of criticism from his fan base. More specifically, fans are not happy with the playcalling towards the end of the game – many believe it was too “conservative”. Well, Hoke doesn’t agree:
Hoke: Do not think playcalling was too conservative at the end of the game.
— Michigan Football (@umichfootball) October 14, 2013
As usual, both sides are arguable.
Michigan had a 3rd-and-14 on PSU’s 32-yard-line with under two minutes to play and a 7-point lead and chose to run the ball with Fitzgerald Toussaint – for a loss of three. The Wolverines then punted the ball back to the Nittany Lions with 50 seconds to go, setting up the incredible comeback. Should Hoke have tried to get the first down through the air? Maybe.
In the first overtime session, Penn State kicker Sam Ficken missed a 40-yard field goal, meaning all Michigan had to do was score to win the game. Hoke chose to run the ball three times and let his kicker, Brendan Gibbons, try a 40-yarder himself. It was blocked. Should the Wolverines have tried to gain a few more yards through the air to make it easier for Gibbons? Maybe.
And finally, there’s the fact that Penn State coach Bill O’Brien went for it (and got it) on 4th-and-1 in the fourth overtime, ultimately setting up the winning score. The move surely made Michigan fans feel like O’Brien’s squad took more chances to win the game.
What do you think?