I find myself rather amazed by the fan base’s reaction to the series of plays which led to Georgia’s second score at 28-14 – you know, when Richt initially elected to punt when he was facing a fourth-and-seven inside Boise State territory and then decided to run a play when given a second opportunity after an offsides penalty reduced the down and distance to a much more manageable fourth-and-two.
At the game, there was noticeable disgruntlement over the decision to punt that vanished in the wake of the touchdown pass, but there’s been a lot of virtual bitching on message boards and comment sections about how Richt was bailed out by a lucky penalty.
What I’ve seen, though, is almost no discussion of the night’s key play, which occurred early in the second quarter. The Dawgs were mounting their first successful drive of the night and were heading towards retaking the lead. Faced with a fourth and short on BSU’s 26, Richt, the coach who was scorned the entire offseason for kicking an early field goal against Central Florida instead of going for it on fourth-and-one, passed on a sure Blair Walsh field goal and took his chances on picking up the first down.
Take it from there, Ben Dukes.
… Then comes the 4th and 1. I applaud Richt for having the WILL to go for it. That showed me that he’s out to win more than just put 3 points up. And the execution was pretty dadgum great, with one small exception. NOBODY TOUCHED THE PLAYSIDE OLB! There is no way on God’s Green Earth that the OLB isn’t blocked in the play design. Either Charles was supposed to chip him, or Anderson was, or Ogletree was supposed to take the first thing that showed. I have no idea. It was an obvious missed-assignment and it resulted in the killing of our best drive of the game.
Anybody doubt that play was flashing through Richt’s head when it was fourth-and-seven later? I sure was thinking about it. As it turned out, the penalty and the situation made it an easier call, but I wonder what he would have done if Georgia had been within a touchdown at the time.