Sunday, October 14, 2007

Yeah but, no.

One media postmortem on Zook's decision making:

With Illinois leading 6-3 late in the third quarter, Iowa committed its own illegal formation on a third-and-2 from the Illini 15. Rather than decline the penalty and force Iowa to attempt a 32-yard field goal—or go for it on a fourth-and-2—Zook gave Iowa another shot on third-and-7.

Christensen actually jogged off the field, assuming the penalty would be declined.

"I thought they were going to make us kick the field goal," he said.

Christensen said he then told offensive coordinator Ken O'Keefe: " 'That probably wasn't a very good decision.' He just started laughing and said that's what happens. So we went for it. … That decision really helped us out."

Yes, it did. Christensen, the left-hander from Lockport, fired a strike to tight end Brandon Myers for a 20-yard score. It was the most open an Iowa receiver had been the entire day.

"It was so exciting," Christensen said. "The stadium just exploded."

Zook said he based his decision on the fact Iowa had gone for the first down in its first two possessions. Yeah, but Iowa didn't make it either time.

And Ferentz went for those because of his team's erratic kicking game. He passed up a 50-yard field-goal try, then a 45-yarder.

"They'd been going for it on fourth down all the time," Zook said. "In my opinion, it was the only thing to do."
Dumbass, they went for it on 4th down before because of the field position. The Hawkeyes were in no man's land, not wanting to punt and fearing a missed FG attempt. The situation was completely different when you accepted the penalty. A gimme FG would have tied the game, a decision Ferentz was sure to make. Instead you gave him a free crack at the end zone. Hey people can't you see that this guy doesn't have even a basic understanding of game situations?
The second decision seemed even harder to justify. Iowa's Dan Doering committed a holding penalty on third-and-4 from the Illinois 48, but Christensen's pass fell incomplete.

Rather than force the Hawkeyes to punt—what else would they have done with a 10-6 lead in the fourth quarter?—Zook accepted the penalty. Iowa completed a 29-yard pass on the next play. The Hawkeyes didn't score on the drive, though, after Christensen fumbled a center exchange.

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