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Stadium and Main: Help a dude out: Trinity @ Millsaps – The untold (and unkown?) story

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Help a dude out: Trinity @ Millsaps – The untold (and unkown?) story

After talking to some friends about the crazy ending that everybody has seen by now, I realized that many people aren’t aware of this: Millsaps (a.k.a. “the team that lost”) had a chance to run out the clock on the previous play. Word? Word! As this article states:
“[W]ith eight seconds remaining the [Millsaps] Majors took their last time out to avoid a delay of game penalty…. On fourth down, Millsaps quarterback Burt Pereira slowly faded to his left. He was unable to evade Trinity's Ryan Johnson, and with two seconds left -- and 60 yards from the end zone -- Trinity had one desperate last chance.”
After reading that article and listening to Trinity’s coach on ESPN’s College Football Live on Monday, I was pretty sure that Millsaps was trying to kill the clock as opposed to going for the first down. But after looking around online, I’m not sure about anything.

What I’m trying to figure out is whether there was another major coaching blunder here. Obviously there was with the 15-lateral play, but that’s another story. So what was going on here? Did Millsaps (and former Alabama) head coach Mike DuBose completely blow it on that 4th down play? Did the QB mess up? Did the defender make a great play? What happened?! Unfortunately, the internet is filled with a bunch of quotes that aren’t too big on the details, like this: “Millsaps had tried to run out the clock but was unsuccessful, giving the ball back to Trinity after a failed fourth-down run.” Um... OK.

We know that there were 8 seconds on the clock, which is a decent amount of time to kill (but not impossible). We know that the ball was somewhere past midfield, near the Millsaps 40-yard line. One unknown is what was the distance required for a first down? After some digging, I saw that Lawpundit
has an apparent copy & paste which states that “Millsaps went for the first down on 4th and 2 at … the Trinity 40-yard line and failed to make it,” but the link related to that copy/paste doesn’t say anything about 4th-and-2. Maybe the original author edited or corrected the “4th and 2” statement? I don’t know... but this only added to my frustration.

So, to recap, can anybody clarify this for me? Specifically:
- How many yards did Millsaps need on that 4th down?
- On what yard line was the ball spotted to begin that 4th down?
And most importantly…
- Did Millsaps appear to be trying to gain a first down, or trying to run out the clock?
Any other related info would be appreciated. Please forward the permalink for this post (see below) to anybody who might know the answer(s). I won’t rest until the truth is revealed! Is Mike DuBose the worst coach in America, or just a guy who teaches his defenders to play zone defense (basketball style)?


Blogger Andrew said...

Millsaps website:

"Three short runs from junior Nick Namias brought the ball down to the TU 35-yard line, setting up a fourth-and-two and forcing head coach Mike DuBose and the Majors to call a timeout with 8 seconds left.

Out of the timeout, backup quarterback Burt Pereira entered the game in the shotgun formation and scrambled around in the backfield before Ryan Johnson made the tackle with 2 seconds remaining on the clock at the TU 40-yard line to force a turnover-on-downs."

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One play that might work better would be to scramble around as long as possible, then throw the ball as far and high as possible, preferably out-of bounds downfield to avoid an interception return. The key would be to not get players downfield for an illegal forward pass...unles the clock can end with an offensive penalty (I'm not sure what the rule is).

Another option might be to run around backwards all the way through the end-zone taking a safety...but if you screw up and get tackled on the 1 or so with time left you have a big problem.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was there, and DuBose definitely blew it. He should have just had Periera run straight backwards - no way the Trinity defenders could have covered the 60 yards before the clock ran out.

This is the second big coaching blunder DuBose made this season. In the first game on 2007, Millsaps was up big late until he decided to play his third/fourth string to get them experience. He kept them in as Mississippi College continued to score with ease and Millsaps ended up losing the game ... which worse is what passes for a rivalry game in Division III. That loss is going to keep the Majors out of the Division III playoffs. A 9-1 team with only a loss to ranked Trinity would get an at-large bid; an 8-2 team will not (unless an awful lot of one- and two-loss teams lose this weekend).

Maybe there's a reason Dubose isn't coaching in the big leagues any more.

10:28 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Thanks to all of you for the comments and clarification. Now I can finally get some sleep...

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1st & 10
clock 1:37
backup qb perera ran out side burning up 10 seconds picked uo 3yds

2nd & 7
clock 0:58
1st string qb snaps ball with 8seconds on play clock hand ball off to namis up middle for gain of 1 yd.

3rd & 6
clock 0:32
qb snaps ball with 6 seconds on play clock hands off ball to namis up middle no gain on play

4th & 6
clock 0:08
Millsaps calls time out with 1 sec on play clock.
backup qb Perera back in game runs right to short side getting down before contact as told, play designed to leave 1 play for millsaps to play defense.
the rest is history

12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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1:40 AM  

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