Norcalnick: It has to be discussed. The facts: Facing a 4th and 1 from the Ohio St. 25 yardline with the game tied and 4:25 left on the clock, Jeff Tedford elected to attempt a field goal. Vince D'Amato badly hooked the 42 yarder. Ohio St. took possession at the 25, quickly scored a touchdown and eventually won the game.
Ohio Bear: I facepalmed. OMG. Why run him out there for the sure miss. Why? Why? Why?
WE RUSHED FOR MORE THAN 200 YARDS AND WE DIDN'T GO FOR IT?!?!? No comprendo.
HydroTech: Yeah. I would have gone for the 4th down conversion instead of the field goal. When your kicker is 0/2, he's probably lacking some confidence. We were getting yardage with our runs. Why not just run it?
I'm a big Tedford supporter but even I disagree with that decision. Just about killed me to see us kicking the field goal. Everyone in the stands at the game wasn't happy with the field goal decision either.
Berkelium97: We were doomed. We were 0/2 on field goals and 0/2 on first downs. No matter what happens, we're trying something that has so far been unsuccessful.
atomsareenough: You mean 0/2 on 4th downs? One of those was a good play; it would have been converted if CJ Anderson hadn't dropped a very catchable pass.
Berkelium97: I wanted to go for it on 4th down, but I understand why Tedford went for the field goal. If I can play Devil's Advocate for a moment:
Okay, great. D'Amato was 2/2 from the 40-yard range heading into Saturday's game. He missed the first kick by a mile, missed the second one narrowly. Given that Vince had made two from that range in previous games and his second miss was closer than the first, there is some reason to believe he may have made the kick. Since we had already failed two 4th down conversions, Tedford may have thought kicking was the better option. Obviously, that wasn't the case.
Again, I would have made a different decision, but I can understand why Tedford went for it.
I would also like to point out that we passed the opportunity to try two fourth-down conversions last week. We had a 4th and 2 and a 4th and short on the goal line. Why we did not take advantage of these opportunities is a complete mystery; instead of going for it in a low-pressure situation, we opted to punt/kick.
I'm not saying that we would have converted if we tried them last week, but it may have put us in a situation where we could have made a better decision on Saturday.
Norcalnick: The cons of a failure are the same: Ohio St. has the ball with the game tied in the vicinity of the 25 yard line.
The only variable is the chance of success. I think the odds that Cal converts a 4th and 1 are meaningfully higher than the odds of Cal converting a 42 yard field goal.
To illustrate, here's a chart created by MGoBlog's Mathlete (you should read his entire post):
The 4th down calculator (try it out yourself!) he created confirms as much, no matter how you switch around the variables of our offense, defense and field goal kicking.
unclesam22: I think it's a defensible move to go for the FG, but ultimately the wrong one given the circumstances. On the road, tied late and driving against a heavily favored team, I think you have to go for it. D'Amato hadn't shown that he was money or anything, so it was much more of a gamble than Giorgio would have been. Not that the Oline was blocking amazingly well either, but I think you call a timeout, get your team over to the sideline and fire them up, and then send them out there to finish the job and win the game.
I think we'll all probably agree that Tedford should have gone for it, so my next question is, what play do you call there? Our Oline was getting no push in the middle so it's not like you can just bang it through and a QB sneak doesn't seem like sure thing either, since that barely worked on the first TD. I think a QB read option or bring Bigelow in and make them think about him and then run the same play tOSU ran on the touchdown earlier where you fake the QB dive up the middle and release the TE for a quick pass. What do you think?
Vincent S: Not much more I can say. I did feel with Stevens was stuffed on 3rd and 2 that we were done. Had we converted on either of our previous 4th down tries, I think Tedford goes for it, no question. I imagine his thought process went something along the lines of:
And that timeout. Why did we not even line up on offense and call a timeout? Why'd we make D'Amato wait 40 seconds and think about that field goal even more? So bizarre.