Tavern talk: How Texas almost lost the game

And how the 49ers blew it by not running the ball. Michael Lombardi

Print This December 08, 2009, 05:30 PM EST

Game Management this week takes us to the Nebraska-Texas game, where Texas almost cost itself a chance at the BCS title game. Let’s take a look:

Nebraska at 4:56 TEX 10 NEB 9

1st and 10 at NEB 31 Zac Lee rush for 17 yards to the Neb 48 for a 1ST down.

1st and 10 at NEB 48 Rex Burkhead rush for 5 yards to the Texas 47.

2nd and 5 at TEX 47 Rex Burkhead rush for 1 yard to the Texas 46.

3rd and 4 at TEX 46 Zac Lee pass complete to Brandon Kinnie for 16 yards to the Texas 30 for a 1ST down.

1st and 10 at TEX 30 Rex Burkhead rush for 3 yards to the Texas 27.

2nd and 7 at TEX 27 Rex Burkhead rush for 1 yard to the Texas 26.

3rd and 6 at TEX 26 Timeout TEXAS, clock 01:54.

3rd and 6 at TEX 26 Rex Burkhead rush for no gain to the Texas 26.

4th and 6 at TEX 26 Timeout TEXAS, clock 01:49.

4th and 6 at TEX 26 Alex Henery 42 yard field goal GOOD.

NEB 12 TEX 10

Adi Kunalic kickoff for 61 yards out-of-bounds.

DRIVE TOTALS: Neb drive: 8 plays 43 yards, 03:12 Neb FG

Texas at 1:44 NEB 12 TEX 10

1st and 10 at TEX 40 Colt McCoy pass complete to Jordan Shipley for 19 yards to the Neb 26,

NEBRASKA penalty 15 yard personal foul accepted for a 1ST down.

1st and 10 at NEB 26 Colt McCoy sacked by Ndamukong Suh for a loss of 2 yards to the Neb 28. Once a sack occurs and a team does not have a timeout, a spike is mandatory. Had they spiked the ball here, it would have been very easy to run a third-down play with more time and not risk the clock running out. Colt McCoy cannot take a sack, especially after a penalty, which stops the clock. They had not blocked Ndamukong Suh all day, so even a running play here would have been a good call. But taking a sack is bad.

2nd and 12 at NEB 28 Colt McCoy rush for a loss of 1 yard to the Neb 29. Throw the ball away — must stop the clock.

3rd and 13 at NEB 29 Colt McCoy pass incomplete.

4th and 13 at NEB 29 Timeout NEBRASKA, clock 00:01.

4th and 13 at NEB 29 Hunter Lawrence 46 yard field goal GOOD.

TEX 13 NEB 12

End of 4th Quarter

What I find amazing about this sequence is the fact the Longhorns get the ball with 1:44 to go in the game, which is a ton of time in college football considering that the clock stops on every timeout. So spiking the ball after a first down is like another time out.
Texas acted as if it had never in this situation before, and McCoy did not act like a first-round quarterback who understood all the options. This was bad.


San Francisco 49ers at 0:51. The 49ers’ goal at this point in the game is to get to overtime – which, for the 49ers, means run the ball and make the Seahawks burn their timeouts. To think they’re going to drive more than 60 yards and be in field-goal range would be naïve. Run the ball, milk the clock and take your chances with the coin flip. This game was lost on the following series — all of which comes back to how more games are lost than won. The Seahawks got a gift, and they made one play to take advantage of the gift.

1-10-SF 11 (:51) (Shotgun) A.Smith pass short middle to F.Gore pushed ob at SF 18 for 7 yards (J.Babineaux). START THE DRIVE WITH A RUN — AND GET THE CLOCK MOVING. WITH TWO TIMEOUTS LEFT, THE SEAHAWKS SHOULD NEVER SEE THE BALL AGAIN.

2-3-SF 18 (:43) (Shotgun) A.Smith pass incomplete short left to J.Hill. EXTRA TIMEOUT TO THE SEAHAWKS.

3-3-SF 18 (:39) (Shotgun) A.Smith pass incomplete deep right to J.Morgan (D.Grant). EXTRA TIMEOUT TO THE SEAHAWKS. HOW DO YOU NOT RUN THE BALL AND KEEP THE CLOCK RUNNING?

4-3-SF 18 (:34) A.Lee punts 55 yards to SEA 27, Center-B.Jennings. N.Burleson to SEA 48 for 21 yards (T.Brown, G.Coffee).

Seattle Seahawks at 0:21

1-10-SEA 48 (:21) (Shotgun) M.Hasselbeck pass incomplete short middle to T.Houshmandzadeh.

PENALTY on SF-D.Goldson, Defensive Holding, 5 yards, enforced at SEA 48 - No Play. X16

1-10-SF 47 (:18) (Shotgun) M.Hasselbeck pass deep right to D.Butler ran ob at SF 15 for 32 yards. P17

1-10-SF 15 (:12) J.Jones up the middle to SF 12 for 3 yards (M.Lewis).

Timeout #2 by SEA at 00:04.

Timeout #2 by SF at 00:04.

2-7-SF 12 (:04) O.Mare 30 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-K.Houser, Holder-J.Ryan.

Follow me on Twitter: michaelombardi

Despite the losses on the field, the Niners are winning in the long run with QB Alex Smith. To read more, check out this article from Bleacher Report.

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