How much do we win by if we went for it on 4th and 2?

How much do we win by if we went for it on 4th and 2?


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Bruno22

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LOL...nice poll. I vote for other: "We win by 30 and go on to win the first of 3 consecutive National Championships."
Anyone else feeling this now that it has been 24 hours?

We could have been the new Clemson (actually better per above!) only if we had gone for it!
 

Replacement Gopher

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Sad that people on here think we were totally outclassed in a game that was 7-10 at the half. Yup, they were just better all around than we were and running on multiple third and longs had nothing to do with the outcome. Just totally outclassed. Just Illinois has better players than WI.
 

short ornery norwegian

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I think the play is as much symbolic as practical. Going for it tells the Gophers players - and Wisconsin - that "we're going for it today. Balls to the wall." Punting in that situation may make some tactical sense, but it also sends the message that "we're going to play it safe."

At the time, the Gophers were up 7-0. If they convert - let's say by throwing it to one of the Two 1,000 yard WR's on the team - at the very least, they have a decent chance at getting into a make-able FG situation. AT best, they go in and score a TD. So, by going for it, they have a chance of being up 10-0 or 14-0.

If they go for it and miss, WI still has to drive 65 yards for a score. A punt gains you, at best, 20 or 25 yards of field position. So, in order to gain 20 yards, they sent a message to the Gopher players and the WI players. And going for it does not have to mean running the same play that just failed. Run something different. Run something unexpected. Try something.
 

Face The Facts

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I've thought about this for 24 hours and I think if I had to have gone for it (and had some level of comfort Tanner wouldn't get sacked) I'd ask him to throw up a hail mary type pass and hope the defender picks it off at the 2, or we catch it.

Not sure how many DB's wouldn't go for the 4th down interception rather than knocking it down.

That would have been better than the punt.

This play did not make us lose the game IMO.
 

gopher8190

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My 40+ vote did not factor in the garbage time touchdowns while the starters were resting up for the B1G championship. But seriously, from a win probability standpoint in addition to the eye test (momentum?), that was close to a coin flip situation (if you aren't blinded with rage). Between the injuries and the two previous dud runs, I'll admit I was worried how the game was trending. I can buy into some being more than worried and feeling we needed to be high risk, high reward in that moment. Thing is, even if we bucked the trend shown through the rest of the game, and converted on 4th and 2, how big a reward would a 1st and 10 at the 30 have been? Between the weather combined with our kicking game, we'd still have been a long ways from getting any points on that drive.
 

EG#9

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The whole sequence starting with the timeout before 3rd down was huge to me. If Fleck didn't think this was a huge moment in the game, why take a timeout with 4:31 remaining in the first quarter? To me, the Green line is much more effective when it's subbed in during real time as opposed to coming out of a timeout with it. There was no wrinkle to the play that I observed and it failed (some are saying Green missed a hole). This left 4th and 2 from the 35. I don't understand why, at the very least, a second Green line play wasn't called during the time out like "If we get stopped here, we're going with the pop pass on 4th down if we get X look, if not take a delay of game". Another option would have been to put Tanner back out at QB and see what look Wisconsin gave on 4th down and decide whether to try to go for it or try to draw Wisconsin offsides with cadence or shifting. The lack of any sort of creativity here at the very least makes the use of the timeout unacceptable and in my mind the whole sequence was coached and managed about as poorly as it could be.

For those saying the punt "worked" it did not. In a worst case scenario, Wisconsin would have taken over at their own 35 after another stuffed run or an incomplete pass. Wisconsin would drive all the way to the Minnesota 31 before fumbling, so the punt did not succeed in flipping field position as the defense didn't get a quick stop and the Gophers wouldn't get the ball back with the wind again until the 4th quarter. Especially of note here is that Wisconsin went for it on 4th down and 3 from the Minnesota 37 down 7-0. They had a longer distance to go and went for it from slightly further out. On another drive, still down 7-0, Wisconsin would go for a 4th and 2 from the Minnesota 19 and they would get it again.

I think people are underestimating what points on that drive (especially another touchdown) would have done for the game script of both teams. The Gophers disadvantage on both lines would have been neutralized somewhat by the Badgers need to play catchup and the Badgers could have been down 10-0 or 14-0 at their own 25 going in to the wind for their final possession of the 1st quarter.

For me, the decisions starting with the 3rd and 2 timeout felt like huge mistakes in the moment so it wasn't second guessing. That said, the lack of line play in this game put the Gopher coaches at a huge disadvantage. They ran on 2nd and 2 from the 35 with Mo and didn't get and then ran on 3rd and 2 with Seth and didn't get it. The Gophers would have never stopped the Badgers on 2 successive run plays like this. On the flip side, that difference in quality/intensity/whatever of line play should have made Fleck/Staff more inclined to go for it up 7-0 and not less so.

There were plenty of other situations where I hated the play call, but there was also some "what can you do?" moments that could have turned this game as well. The sideline passes to Bateman and Autman-Bell that were incompletions had every bit the chance to be caught as the sideline pass to Taylor that ended up being a touchdown for Wisconsin. Later, you had Morgan miss Douglas for a touchdown and the 3rd and 4th down plays to Tyler Johnson where the first one should have been interference and the second one could have either been caught or been interference again (borderline). Even with, what I thought was terrible decision making, this game easily could have been a 7 point game with nearly the entire 4th quarter to play and the Gophers having the wind advantage.

This loss would have been horrific no matter how it happened, but it's especially difficult to digest when they made so many of the passive/conservative decisions they made against Iowa that came back to bite them. In addition to the 3rd and 2 and 4th and 2 decision making, they had a 3rd and 10 at the 50 trailing 10-7 to open the 3rd quarter and called a run to Mo Ibrahim. Trailing 17-7 in the 3rd quarter and facing 3rd and 10 at the Wisconsin 22, they USE A TIMEOUT and then call a run to Mo Ibrahim. These plays on offense were just baffling and were totally out of character for this staff during the games they actually won. You have those 2 plays plus all 4 failed plays starting with 1st and goal down 24-10 and Bateman doesn't get an opportunity on any of the 6 and Morgan/receivers in general are only given a chance on 2 of the 6. On the other side of the field, Wisconsin pulled out some misdirection to get a huge 4th down conversion, scored on a reverse, got a huge kickoff return off a reverse, and dialed up a pass to Taylor that probably was the longest (in terms of air yards) of his career.
 

Replacement Gopher

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The whole sequence starting with the timeout before 3rd down was huge to me. If Fleck didn't think this was a huge moment in the game, why take a timeout with 4:31 remaining in the first quarter? To me, the Green line is much more effective when it's subbed in during real time as opposed to coming out of a timeout with it. There was no wrinkle to the play that I observed and it failed (some are saying Green missed a hole). This left 4th and 2 from the 35. I don't understand why, at the very least, a second Green line play wasn't called during the time out like "If we get stopped here, we're going with the pop pass on 4th down if we get X look, if not take a delay of game". Another option would have been to put Tanner back out at QB and see what look Wisconsin gave on 4th down and decide whether to try to go for it or try to draw Wisconsin offsides with cadence or shifting. The lack of any sort of creativity here at the very least makes the use of the timeout unacceptable and in my mind the whole sequence was coached and managed about as poorly as it could be.

For those saying the punt "worked" it did not. In a worst case scenario, Wisconsin would have taken over at their own 35 after another stuffed run or an incomplete pass. Wisconsin would drive all the way to the Minnesota 31 before fumbling, so the punt did not succeed in flipping field position as the defense didn't get a quick stop and the Gophers wouldn't get the ball back with the wind again until the 4th quarter. Especially of note here is that Wisconsin went for it on 4th down and 3 from the Minnesota 37 down 7-0. They had a longer distance to go and went for it from slightly further out. On another drive, still down 7-0, Wisconsin would go for a 4th and 2 from the Minnesota 19 and they would get it again.

I think people are underestimating what points on that drive (especially another touchdown) would have done for the game script of both teams. The Gophers disadvantage on both lines would have been neutralized somewhat by the Badgers need to play catchup and the Badgers could have been down 10-0 or 14-0 at their own 25 going in to the wind for their final possession of the 1st quarter.

For me, the decisions starting with the 3rd and 2 timeout felt like huge mistakes in the moment so it wasn't second guessing. That said, the lack of line play in this game put the Gopher coaches at a huge disadvantage. They ran on 2nd and 2 from the 35 with Mo and didn't get and then ran on 3rd and 2 with Seth and didn't get it. The Gophers would have never stopped the Badgers on 2 successive run plays like this. On the flip side, that difference in quality/intensity/whatever of line play should have made Fleck/Staff more inclined to go for it up 7-0 and not less so.

There were plenty of other situations where I hated the play call, but there was also some "what can you do?" moments that could have turned this game as well. The sideline passes to Bateman and Autman-Bell that were incompletions had every bit the chance to be caught as the sideline pass to Taylor that ended up being a touchdown for Wisconsin. Later, you had Morgan miss Douglas for a touchdown and the 3rd and 4th down plays to Tyler Johnson where the first one should have been interference and the second one could have either been caught or been interference again (borderline). Even with, what I thought was terrible decision making, this game easily could have been a 7 point game with nearly the entire 4th quarter to play and the Gophers having the wind advantage.

This loss would have been horrific no matter how it happened, but it's especially difficult to digest when they made so many of the passive/conservative decisions they made against Iowa that came back to bite them. In addition to the 3rd and 2 and 4th and 2 decision making, they had a 3rd and 10 at the 50 trailing 10-7 to open the 3rd quarter and called a run to Mo Ibrahim. Trailing 17-7 in the 3rd quarter and facing 3rd and 10 at the Wisconsin 22, they USE A TIMEOUT and then call a run to Mo Ibrahim. These plays on offense were just baffling and were totally out of character for this staff during the games they actually won. You have those 2 plays plus all 4 failed plays starting with 1st and goal down 24-10 and Bateman doesn't get an opportunity on any of the 6 and Morgan/receivers in general are only given a chance on 2 of the 6. On the other side of the field, Wisconsin pulled out some misdirection to get a huge 4th down conversion, scored on a reverse, got a huge kickoff return off a reverse, and dialed up a pass to Taylor that probably was the longest (in terms of air yards) of his career.
Post of the day!

Two reasons why it has me so bent:
-you’d think we would have learned our lesson from the Iowa game
-after 60 years of waiting to be in this position, we are all on here talking about passive and unimaginative play calling? I’m not sure how that happens. I mean....
 

Otis

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The punt felt like it sucked the energy out of the game after Wisconsin's next drive.

Let's dig in a little more here:

1st Down: 7 yard completion to Johnson setting up 2nd and short.
2nd Down: RPO run by Smith that got absolutely smothered.
3rd Down: Green line where Seth run DIRECTLY INTO HIS OWN OFFENSIVE LINEMAN instead of going a half step to the right for a minimum 5 yard gain. result: 4th and 2.

After the Iowa game, where we couldn't run and seeing the aerial success we had enjoyed so far in the game against the Badgers, we should have passed on either 2nd or 3rd down. But Green's complete lack of vision and missing a hole he could of sprinted through killed us! And then we punt.

Whisky goes for it several times and establishes dominance on the line even though they only come away with the field goal they stole momentum and the game.
 

MGGopher

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This just will not die. We'll be hearing about it in April when the Maroon team punts to the Gold team from this spot in the spring game.
 

FireDaveLee

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Exactly. Fleck only plays to win on and off the field. Disappointed in losing today but proud as hell how far and the way he has brought the program this quickly. Hus hands were tied by having to commit so much to stop Taylor from running and that gave up everything else. UW made plays. Now it is on to a very good bowl. Fleck is wired to learn from losing. Take comfort in knowing he will be hard at work tomorrow. Hell, he probably recruited tonight.
This has been lost in all the analysis. Taylor's running was for the most part, shut down by the Gophers. The Gophers made a choice: Jonathan Taylor or Jack Coan, especially in the weather conditions. Coan & Chryst were really good.

I'm disappointed as well, but I think more credit needs to be given to the Badgers, especially on offense. You can say our defense played a part in it, but the Badgers O was pretty finely tuned on Saturday from mid-2nd quarter on....
 
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