Zook's decision - could it be right?

CliffordTheBRD's picture
October 16, 2011 at 10:25a

Everyone is trashing Zook for going for it, it fits the meme that he's a terrible game coach. I actually think it's complicated and he could have been right.

First off, the success rate on 4th and 2 is pretty good, around 60%. If they made it they have a much better chance of getting the TD than they would from the onsides kick, being on the 10 instead of the 50.

Finally if they kick the FG from the 12, they are leaving the best-case scenario as overtime. If they get the first down and then the TD, they still have a chance to make a TD after the onsides kick and win in regulation.

So there are factors going both ways, I can't kill him for going against coach-think in that position. On the other hand I didn't like the play- I'd probably have had Scheelhaase run if I absolutely needed 2.

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rampageripster's picture

no, you need points... either way you are going to have to get an onside kick and drive 20 odd yards... it was a stupid decision

Cause I couldn't go for three

jenks's picture

no, either way you need a touchdown. considering the buckeye defense and the illinois offense, was getting the 4 and 2 inside the 20 their best shot? that's debateable, and suggests he certainly doesn't deserve all this heat even if you disagree.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I agree. I probably go for the FG in part because if you make it, the other team maybe starts to grip a bit (and the Buckeyes had just blown a lead the week before), but it's debatable either way. On a pure statistical basis, it probably makes more sense to go for it on 4th and 2 there.

The reason the Illini got Zooked yesterday was not the FG/TD decision, or not calling TOs at the end of the first half (which would have been stupid, IMO). It was the Illini's offensive play calling in the 20-30 mph wind.  

Alex's picture

I definitely see going for the field goal, but the getting 15-20 yards after recovering an onside kick to kick a field goal is much easier than going 60 yards to score a touchdown. The down and yardage was short, so I don't think Zook's decision was neccessarily the wrong one. It definitely wasn't the safer one, but I can see people blasting Fickell for not going for the first down and score there.

btalbert25's picture

When you need 2 scores to have a chance you take the points and live to fight another play.  When you screw the pooch on 4th and 2, you have no options at all.  Take the 3 and then you have a chance for an on side kick.  They had a couple of times where their WR's were open and the QB just underthrew the ball or the WR had them come off the finger tips.  A big play could've easily happened at the end of that game.  Howard's INT there toward the end of the 4th the WR had him beat, QB just threw a terrible ball. 

Zook just doesn't seem to know what he's doing out there at all.  He could've taken 2 timeouts that would've preserved a minute and a half to 2 minutes of clock.  Their last drive that took the to that 4-2 decision they were moving slowly and didn't seem to sense the urgency until the last 3 or 4 plays of that drive.  I don't know, much of that 4th quarter was a joke.  The D probaly holds anyway, but thank Zook for helping the Buckeyes seal the deal.

BoFuquel's picture

Great job on the Mondy skuller CJ.I all for The Mangenius,worst mistake our Browns ever made,and that includes the trade of Bobby Mitchell,ain't never gonna get over that one.Speaking of skullers, time for my weekly electroencephalograph.They think I'm brain dead here at The House. Simply because I have no serotonin or dopamine,and I run around screaming, L-DOPA for everyone.It's a man's hard earned right to have the best drugs available.

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Buckeyejason's picture

I'm extremely happy and suprised that we won..but the lack of a passing game is laughable at this point. I know I know freshman QB blah blah blah..I've seen plenty of other freshman QB's sling the ball around for other schools.

Yes Bollman and Siciliano don't help the case at all..but for God sakes will it kill them to run screens, short slants and outs for quick easy yardage!!!!

If I'm an OSU Wide Reciever I'm considering transferring at this point. Its just unacceptable! Seriously!

Watching that game confirmed that the slaughter will happen in 2 weeks at the Shoe. There's no way in hell we have a chance of beating a top 5 team when we complete 1 pass in a game.

The day Bollman and Siciliano are gone I will throw a huge party to celebrate!


Doc's picture

Eat Too Brutus II.  We could make it a Christmas or New Years themed party;).


You are right Wisky is going to murder us.  Bilemia will not show us any mercy either.  I hate those fookin cheese heads.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

theDuke's picture

clif, i personally agree with you. if he scores or gets a first, all of ESPiN is on there knees stretching their jowls.


ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

I don't know.  I would have taken the FG with the way the 4th quarter was going and what happened to us last week.  I can't say Zook is an idiot for going for it, as there is some decent logic behind that decision (the best logic being the WIND), I don't agree with it. 

The main reason I wouldn't have gone for it is the time factor.  Illinois wasn't exactly moving the ball down the field with their hair on fire.  Their only touchdown drive took like 7 or 8 minutes, and even that last drive they were eating up valuable clock.  Let's say they get the first down.  Who knows how long it would've taken them after that to put it in the endzone?  If they took too long, they may not have had enough time to move the ball enough for the next score if they recover an onside kick.

With an opponent that was not throwing the football, I would have taken the FG, gone for an onside kick, and then gone for the TD with plenty of time to get to OT. 

Class of 2010.