Chip: P.J. Fleck's choice of cautious play-calls over boldness backfires again

Some guy

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Yup. My key to the game was tying the first quarter. That’s 3 times in 4 years that Minnesota has out played them for 75% of the game but lost by digging a hole against a great defensive team.
And when you think back on it, dug a 10-0 hole against Purdue (3 not defenses fault, lost by 10)
dug a 10-0 hole against Illinois (lost by 12)


Would love to see an emphasis on first quarter defense next year and some improvement. Seems like Rossi is one of the best adjusters in the game but not always ready to start schematically.
 

USAF

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I also don’t get why all the criticism is for 8 in a row?
Does fleck get negative credit for the losses under the last coaches?
Good lord, do you stay up late TRYING to come up with the worst takes on the board, or are you just this bad naturally?
 

Johnnyboy18

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I get that, I was there even with the kicker and saw it all. My point is there was something not right with their alignment and the coaches made the decision to call timeout to make sure it got corrected before the ball was snapped. I also get they snapped the ball (after the timeout) and that would have left too much time in the clock - but the coaches felt they had no option other than stopping the play. They weren’t happy about having to do it either.
If this is the logic than PJ only has one bad timeout in the 1st half. One was to fix defensive alignment on the goal line and one was to prevent a delay of game.
 

USAF

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It literally was bad clock management regardless of what they were yelling about.
When you have a chance to kick the game winning field goal with 6 seconds instead of 31 And you choose 31 that’s horrible clock management

Go back and watch the head official wind the clock. (You know he wound it because they had to put a second back on the clock)

Play before was stopped in bounds. They reviewed it for a fumble. No fumble play stands. Meaning clock starts on ready for play because the previous play didn’t stop the clock.
31 seconds left. 25 second play clock
As usual, you are incorrect. Iowa ran their 3rd down play with over a minute left, let the clock run down to 0:31, and called time with 1 second on the play clock. They then called another TO after lining up for the FG, dont know why, but it had no effect on the game clock. They had no opportunity to run more time off. The game clock.was stopped.

FG took 3 seconds, Gophers got the ball with 28 seconds left.
 
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USAF

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It is a factor because we ended up being rushed when we hit a minute remaining on the clock. Regardless, it's a glaring problem with Fleck and time management.

Basically....what I am seeing is that Fleck is MOST concerned with making sure that Iowa doesn't get the ball back with a chance to score. Wants to run as much time off the clock....even if it limits the Gophers chance to get a touchdown. It's a BAD philosophy. ESPECIALLY in a game like this one where the defenses were dominating (mostly) and points were at a premium. Four minutes is a lifetime and the Gophers could have easily run from the 36 to the goal line without stopping the clock at all if PJ wasn't insistent on running 30+ seconds off the clock between every play.

It's inexcusable. Playing to keep a game close has lost us games where it is entirely possible that we could play from ahead if we weren't so conservative.
Great post.

They also squandered their first 2 possessions, basically on purpose, because he's afraid to throw the GD football. Fell behind. Now sort of FORCED to throw, drive the length of the field, now 10-7 ... so we can abandon the pass again.
He's so worried about something bad happening he intentionally pisses away time and opportunities.
 


FlaGopher23

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Our touchdown drive was the panic of being down 10-0........what do we do on that drive, we throw 4 or 5 passes, complete them all, and go right down the field. Many of those passes on early downs.

I just laugh.
Agreed. They completely abandoned that play calling in the second half and look what happens. Then, after they ran the ball a dozen times in a row, they put our young QB in a 3rd and long situation on a must have touchdown and he tries to force the throw.

We were like 6/6, 6/7 in passing and they decided, hmm why keep throwing the ball effectively, let’s make it much harder to win and go into turtle mode.

This conservative BS is mind numbing, but totally Minnesotan. Playing not to lose will never ever get you a division win or national championship, just know that.
 

BilldGopher

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Wants to run as much time off the clock....even if it limits the Gophers chance to get a touchdown...if PJ wasn't insistent on running 30+ seconds off the clock between every play.
I agree this run-the-clock-to-the-max philosophy has hopefully run its course and the HC and coaches move to a different means of "controlling" a game. This style of play was perfected by Tanner and the pre-snap signal squad...and did make a difference in many games while Tanner has been here.

I did note that yesterday, especially in the first half, that Athan was calling the snap at the 10-12 second mark on several downs. We'd never expect to see that with Tanner, and it did seem that in the second half we were back to snapping at 1-2 seconds (which of course cost us a timeout if I recall correctly).

I don't know if the "earlier" snaps on the play clock were just because it was Athan and it was cold or what. But the fact that it was happening was a departure...for naught unfortunately.
 

upnorthkid

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I agree this run-the-clock-to-the-max philosophy has hopefully run its course and the HC and coaches move to a different means of "controlling" a game. This style of play was perfected by Tanner and the pre-snap signal squad...and did make a difference in many games while Tanner has been here.

I did note that yesterday, especially in the first half, that Athan was calling the snap at the 10-12 second mark on several downs. We'd never expect to see that with Tanner, and it did seem that in the second half we were back to snapping at 1-2 seconds (which of course cost us a timeout if I recall correctly).

I don't know if the "earlier" snaps on the play clock were just because it was Athan and it was cold or what. But the fact that it was happening was a departure...for naught unfortunately.
If ever there’s a time to maximize the number of plays you call, it’s when you’re behind or tied with a team you are absolutely physically mauling. That was the 2nd half yesterday. Gives you more possessions, plays and allows for more variance in your favor. This choking the clock out thing works to keep you in games against teams who are better than you or teams you’re equivalent to while leading. Why he continues to insist on doing it no matter the situation is baffling. It also allows the defense to get in their optimal set as they can show early with something they’re not doing and then reset. You hit them with a quick snap every once in awhile and teams cannot do that. This isn’t advanced stuff
 

Spoofin

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If this is the logic than PJ only has one bad timeout in the 1st half. One was to fix defensive alignment on the goal line and one was to prevent a delay of game.
Again, I didn’t say Iowa’s timeout was good. I was simply pointing out it wasn’t some planned thing, but rather something they didn’t want to do either. It wasn’t a good timeout. I was trying to offer something I noticed at the game that may not have been noticed on TV. 🙄
 




Some guy

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"...winning more than any Gopher coach since the 60s." What happened in the 60s that dropped the Gophers from a Big10 contender to a lower half team?
AND
If you look at the history, we didn’t drop to a lower half team in the early 70s

Joe Salem and Jim Wacker are why we think of the history of gopher football the way we do today.
If ever there’s a time to maximize the number of plays you call, it’s when you’re behind or tied with a team you are absolutely physically mauling. That was the 2nd half yesterday. Gives you more possessions, plays and allows for more variance in your favor. This choking the clock out thing works to keep you in games against teams who are better than you or teams you’re equivalent to while leading. Why he continues to insist on doing it no matter the situation is baffling. It also allows the defense to get in their optimal set as they can show early with something they’re not doing and then reset. You hit them with a quick snap every once in awhile and teams cannot do that. This isn’t advanced stuff
lol

Team 1-8 passing in the second half and mailing and you say the winning strategy is to pass more. Okay
 


Panthadad2

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If ever there’s a time to maximize the number of plays you call, it’s when you’re behind or tied with a team you are absolutely physically mauling. That was the 2nd half yesterday. Gives you more possessions, plays and allows for more variance in your favor. This choking the clock out thing works to keep you in games against teams who are better than you or teams you’re equivalent to while leading. Why he continues to insist on doing it no matter the situation is baffling. It also allows the defense to get in their optimal set as they can show early with something they’re not doing and then reset. You hit them with a quick snap every once in awhile and teams cannot do that. This isn’t advanced stuff

Illinois is a T.O.P. team like the Gophs, but I noticed they went to the quick snap vs. Michigan yesterday quite often. It worked well. I was jealous.
 



PMWinSTP

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Again, I didn’t say Iowa’s timeout was good. I was simply pointing out it wasn’t some planned thing, but rather something they didn’t want to do either. It wasn’t a good timeout. I was trying to offer something I noticed at the game that may not have been noticed on TV. 🙄
Yeah, it sort of looked like Ferentz thought there were too many men out there or the Gophs alignment was a concern for a block, but it was strange watching him call it.
 

upnorthkid

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AND
If you look at the history, we didn’t drop to a lower half team in the early 70s

Joe Salem and Jim Wacker are why we think of the history of gopher football the way we do today.

lol

Team 1-8 passing in the second half and mailing and you say the winning strategy is to pass more. Okay
You’ll notice I said that exactly zero times if you read
 

upnorthkid

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Illinois is a T.O.P. team like the Gophs, but I noticed they went to the quick snap vs. Michigan yesterday quite often. It worked well. I was jealous.
It adds another thing defense has to account for, can make them more vanilla (hard to get all people on the same page for an exotic blitz if teams run quicker occasionally at least), and gives them less time to evaluate your lineup as well. We run a relatively simple set of plays, adding some tempo should be to our advantage
 


Replacement Gopher

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Haha, he’s lost the fan base!! He’s lost a few of you maybe who have crawled out of the woodwork but I’m pretty sure most of us are still here, and I’m pretty sure we outnumber you and yours.
The ones he has lost aren’t posting here anymore or going to games. They have become apathetic.
 


upnorthkid

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I read it wrong
No worries. The philosophy is similar to what usc does. They pick times and places to hit you with tempo and getting set. They may not always quick snap it, but the simple act of getting set restricts the defense and can lead to confusion. The rpo is built for that as if one guy misses his assignment, you have the advantage
 

Some guy

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No worries. The philosophy is similar to what usc does. They pick times and places to hit you with tempo and getting set. They may not always quick snap it, but the simple act of getting set restricts the defense and can lead to confusion. The rpo is built for that as if one guy misses his assignment, you have the advantage
Yeah. Which is why the interception was especially frustrating because I think we win that game in OT
 

MNVCGUY

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And when you think back on it, dug a 10-0 hole against Purdue (3 not defenses fault, lost by 10)
dug a 10-0 hole against Illinois (lost by 12)


Would love to see an emphasis on first quarter defense next year and some improvement. Seems like Rossi is one of the best adjusters in the game but not always ready to start schematically.
We need to find a way to start faster on both sides of the ball.
 

upnorthkid

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Yeah. Which is why the interception was especially frustrating because I think we win that game in OT
I do agree with that. They were absolutely reeling. Would’ve rather seen zone read vs something safer (rpo roll out and you either have BSF or you don’t) rather than what they did, which Iowa just sat on like they did all game
 


USAF

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Yeah, it sort of looked like Ferentz thought there were too many men out there or the Gophs alignment was a concern for a block, but it was strange watching him call it.
The clock was already stopped.
 

GophersInIowa

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No timeouts absolutely factored in to how the first half ended. In a game of limited opportunities we wasted one for the same sh!t that keeps happening since PJ got here.

PJ needs to change his best. Unfortunately, PJ’s best is the same as it was the day he arrived. This sh!t will just keep happening until he does. Rinse. Repeat.

With that said, missed FG and 2 TOs is why we lost this game. It also doesn’t help that if we don’t hand the ball off to #24 we have no idea how to move the ball.
The lack of timeouts didn’t help but they still could have hurried up a bit more before that last play. That’s where my greater criticism is. They knew they had 0 TOS before the drive started and should have acted accordingly.

Either way, if they run the ball on 3rd and 1 and get the first, the clock stops and they should have been able to get the next play off with about :30 left. Not ideal but still easily doable.
 

PMWinSTP

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We need to find a way to start faster on both sides of the ball.
I think just the offense needs a faster start. The first two series were meh. 9 plays total for 28 yards. Have longer series and yards on both with points on at least one, and the game looks much different.
 

stocker08

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If ever there’s a time to maximize the number of plays you call, it’s when you’re behind or tied with a team you are absolutely physically mauling. That was the 2nd half yesterday. Gives you more possessions, plays and allows for more variance in your favor. This choking the clock out thing works to keep you in games against teams who are better than you or teams you’re equivalent to while leading. Why he continues to insist on doing it no matter the situation is baffling. It also allows the defense to get in their optimal set as they can show early with something they’re not doing and then reset. You hit them with a quick snap every once in awhile and teams cannot do that. This isn’t advanced stuff

Exactly. If anything....we kept Iowa in the game by shortening it. They were getting completely shut down by the defense while we were racking up yards like crazy.
 

upnorthkid

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Exactly. If anything....we kept Iowa in the game by shortening it. They were getting completely shut down by the defense while we were racking up yards like crazy.
Yup. Margin of effor goes down massively both directions. We made errors, they didn’t. we lose, they win. Against Ohio state, yeah that sure as shit is your strategy. I can get that if you’re doing it on the last drive before the pick IF you’re going to run the ball and say either we win in regulation or no one does. Instead we ended up with the crap we saw, again.
 

stocker08

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Yup. Margin of effor goes down massively both directions. We made errors, they didn’t. we lose, they win. Against Ohio state, yeah that sure as shit is your strategy. I can get that if you’re doing it on the last drive before the pick IF you’re going to run the ball and say either we win in regulation or no one does. Instead we ended up with the crap we saw, again.

You shorten the game against teams with more talent. You shorten the game against teams with high powered offenses that put up a lot of points. THAT'S NOT IOWA!!!

After our first two series....our next series through the end of the game went 72 (TD), 73 (missed FG), 76 (FG), 31 (punt), 88 (fumble), 22 (INT), end of game drive with 9.

Gophers were absolutely GASHING Iowa. And Fleck handed them a present by making sure it was a game at the end. Disgusting to lose that.
 




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