Fake punts and Two-Point Conversions

Got your back coach. Ok no hiding the elephant in the room. The deep field fake punt? That was shooting the dice needing snake eyes, (one in 36), but take away that one play? I’m with you man.


I’m not Kevin Kelly but I like a lot of his ideas, I just don’t go all-in with his theories.

Gambling for the most part is an activity people love because there is a chance of a big payoff. The secret to gambling is the odds are against a person getting a big payoff. Over time in a casino you will lose. The odds are stacked that way. But not everything some announcer or fan thinks is a gamble is really a gamble, the odds often favor doing something that just seems wrong.

My belief on going for it on fourth down is this. Unless time and score dictate you have to go, you should always consider it any time you cross the 35. Fail and don’t give up a first down and you worst case is a 41 yard field goal attempt best case is a field goal attempt of 52 or more (or better yet a turnover to you). That’s a reasonable risk. If your opponent can drive 35 or more yards for a TD they were either going to get a TD anyway, get in field goal range or punt you inside the 20 if you make the decision to punt.

The statistical models say you should always go for it on fourth and two or fewer yards and most of the time at fourth and 3.

The math didn’t support the failed pass to Luke Ferguson but it certainly backed up the run by Rocky Hayes and the other fourth down attempts. Personally I hope to see less of Luke punting as we go along despite the fact he has been very effective punting.

Now about that two point conversion that failed.

Coach, I’m with you 100%.

Conventional wisdom says kick there. It puts you within in 8 so you would need one possession with a touchdown and two point conversion in order to tie the game. Fans like that comfort of thinking it is a one possession game. The stats disagree.

If AState kicks the PAT, there is only a 42% chance that it is a one-possession ball game (assuming the defense holds) but a 58% chance that it is still a two possession game. That’s the success rate of a two point conversion.

If you kick the PAT in that situation you may be lulled into believing that you need one possession and approach your offensive play calling as if you need one possession but 58% of the time that two-point try will fail, leaving you down by two points and needing another possession.

By trying and failing the conversion early, the picture was made apparent. It was still a two possession game and you had the ability to take that need for two possessions into game management.

Many people are going to disagree but there are people who put money they cannot afford into the lottery or casinos thinking they’ll beat the odds.

Coach you gambled on the fake punt throw but going for two when you did, that was playing the odds, you established early what conditions were required in order to win the game.

Right call all the way.