Go for 2 with 2:23 left?

Sean Miller Fan

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Listen, I probably wouldn't have but I was thinking it. 99.9% of college football coaches wouldn't have so there's no blame on Narduzzi there BUT as happy as I was to take OT at that point (assuming we'd hold Ten on the final drive as we did), I thought we were at a bad disadvantage in OT. Happy to be there and hoping for a Tennessee mistake but they're significantly better than us with a backup QB. Had we went for 2 and made it, maybe we win the game though Tennessee's play calling would have been different trailing so they still could have made a GW FG.

I'll tell you this though: On Pitt's OT drive, I was so hoping they'd go for 2 and the win. It was going to go to do dueling 2 point attempts anyway, which is the dumbest thing ever so go ahead and decide it right there. No point risking another drive with a backup QB and FCS OL.

I hope to God I never see a Pitt game decided by the College football version of penalty kicks. What a terrible, terrible way to decide a hard-fought game. I hope that rule changes.
 

HailtoPitt

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I might have went for 2 in the 4th, considering the situation. Can't remember how many TOs were left if they didn't convert.
 

TheWerewolfFromTwilight

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If Tennessee needed to score on that final drive they very well may have. We see it all the time: Teams won't score all day, but they become locked in at the end, when they absolutely have to. Plus they would have four downs to do so. For those reasons, I wouldn't have done it.

But... I'd have called a timeout when Tennessee had it at their own 45 on 4th and 3. If I recall correctly, we let the clock bleed down. Why not give your team a chance to kick a field goal? If you incentivize them to go for it, so be it (still doubt they would have). But have some guts.
 

HailToPitt725

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Let me play devil’s advocate: what play do we call that’s likely to convert? They had stuffed our goal line running game prior to that point and we weren’t getting much push by the offensive line all game. Also likely couldn’t do anything that required Patti doing play action or rollouts because of his ankle. At that point, the likely option is some type of drop-back pass, like the TD. Tennessee likely sends the house or drops everyone back and dares Patti to beat them with his legs.

With that being said, I think you can make an argument of going for two because of our lack of success in the red zone. Do you trust your offense to gain two yards or advance the ball 30 yards more than once in OT?
 
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If Tennessee needed to score on that final drive they very well may have. We see it all the time: Teams won't score all day, but they become locked in at the end, when they absolutely have to. Plus they would have four downs to do so. For those reasons, I wouldn't have done it.

But... I'd have called a timeout when Tennessee had it at their own 45 on 4th and 3. If I recall correctly, we let the clock bleed down. Why not give your team a chance to kick a field goal? If you incentivize them to go for it, so be it (still doubt they would have). But have some guts.
I mean, yea, they may have won with a FG had we made the but they also may not have.

I was questioning the 4th and 3 at the time. A part of me was saying call the TO and have like 1 minute to get to 65 yards for a realistic shot at a FG but I was afraid they'd go for it on 4th and 3. I don't think they would have but it would have scared me into not doing it as a coach. The other risk is had we done that and had 3 incomplete passes, they get the ball back on their 40 with 35 seconds left, having 3-4 plays to get 25-30 yards for a GW FG
 

HailtoPitt

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Let me play devil’s advocate: what play do we call that’s likely to convert? They had stuffed our goal line running game prior to that point and we weren’t getting much push by the offensive line all game. Also likely couldn’t do anything that required Patti doing play action or rollouts because of his ankle. At that point, the likely option is some type of drop-back pass, like the TD. Tennessee likely sends the house or drops everyone back and dares Patti to beat them with his legs.

With that being said, I think you can make an argument of going for two because of our lack of success in the red zone. Do you trust your offense to gain two yards or advance the ball 30 yards more than once in OT?

I'd probably call a run up the middle!
 
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gary2

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Let me play devil’s advocate: what play do we call that’s likely to convert? They had stuffed our goal line running game prior to that point and we weren’t getting much push by the offensive line all game. Also likely couldn’t do anything that required Patti doing play action or rollouts because of his ankle. At that point, the likely option is some type of drop-back pass, like the TD. Tennessee likely sends the house or drops everyone back and dares Patti to beat them with his legs.

With that being said, I think you can make an argument of going for two because of our lack of success in the red zone. Do you trust your offense to gain two yards or advance the ball 30 yards more than once in OT?
Spread them out. Bring Vince Davis in supposedly to pass block.

Quick straight handoff to Davis.
 

Pitt2006

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At the 27:04 video mark instead of a kneel they should have done a sneak pass to Izzy and let him try to catch the D. No one ever does it, but really teams should do fake kneel downs. Or is there a formal rule against it?
 

Pitt2006

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With 23 seconds left and one timeout. Sauls probably would have missed the kick, but you never see any sneak plays.
 

Upg bobcat

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I was thinking of going for 2 as well, but I agree with those that you only go for two if you have a really good play in your back pocket (Philly/Pitt Special or something like that), and based on the 2nd half play calling, we didn't have any plays that we confidence in.

What I don't get is why didn't we let Patti throw a single deep ball? It would have made their safeties less aggressive which could have helped the running game. The best times to throw it deep were after the fumble recovery and after the muffed punt, when we had momentum on our side. I know you don't want Patti getting killed and holding the ball long for long-developing routes, but throwing long on those first downs when their defense was probably expecting run could have kept Patti upright.
 
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If Tennessee needed to score on that final drive they very well may have. We see it all the time: Teams won't score all day, but they become locked in at the end, when they absolutely have to. Plus they would have four downs to do so. For those reasons, I wouldn't have done it.

But... I'd have called a timeout when Tennessee had it at their own 45 on 4th and 3. If I recall correctly, we let the clock bleed down. Why not give your team a chance to kick a field goal? If you incentivize them to go for it, so be it (still doubt they would have). But have some guts.

agree. No issues not going for 2. There was over two minutes left, no way they don't march down the field for a FG.

And I think you do take the time out and take a couple shots with 55 seconds left. Maybe he shanks the punt or you get decent return and start around the 35 yard line? And if you are pinned inside the 5 then just take a knee. didn't seem like a lot or risk involved with a timeout there.
 

TheWerewolfFromTwilight

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agree. No issues not going for 2. There was over two minutes left, no way they don't march down the field for a FG.

And I think you do take the time out and take a couple shots with 55 seconds left. Maybe he shanks the punt or you get decent return and start around the 35 yard line? And if you are pinned inside the 5 then just take a knee. didn't seem like a lot or risk involved with a timeout there.

Another thing, and I mentioned this in another thread, that I have a problem with was this:

Everybody is complaining about us trying to score at the end of the first half. But what I have a bigger issue with is Narduzzi letting the clock tick down when it was 3rd and 19. We could have called timeout and got the ball back with like 1:10 instead of 22 seconds or whatever it was. Did we not have confidence in our defense to stop a 3rd and 19?
 

Sean Miller Fan

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agree. No issues not going for 2. There was over two minutes left, no way they don't march down the field for a FG.

And I think you do take the time out and take a couple shots with 55 seconds left. Maybe he shanks the punt or you get decent return and start around the 35 yard line? And if you are pinned inside the 5 then just take a knee. didn't seem like a lot or risk involved with a timeout there.
Lets say you MAKE the 2. What do you feel the win percentage chances are as opposed to tying it with 2:23.

Here's my guess

Make the 2: Tennessee kicks a GW FG: 25%

Kick the XP: Tennessee wins in OT: 70%

Making the 2 gives yourself a much better chance to win the game. However, the chances of making the 2 are between 40%-55% (studies show) and would be lower with a backup QB.
 

wbrpanther

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Listen, I probably wouldn't have but I was thinking it. 99.9% of college football coaches wouldn't have so there's no blame on Narduzzi there BUT as happy as I was to take OT at that point (assuming we'd hold Ten on the final drive as we did), I thought we were at a bad disadvantage in OT. Happy to be there and hoping for a Tennessee mistake but they're significantly better than us with a backup QB. Had we went for 2 and made it, maybe we win the game though Tennessee's play calling would have been different trailing so they still could have made a GW FG.

I'll tell you this though: On Pitt's OT drive, I was so hoping they'd go for 2 and the win. It was going to go to do dueling 2 point attempts anyway, which is the dumbest thing ever so go ahead and decide it right there. No point risking another drive with a backup QB and FCS OL.

I hope to God I never see a Pitt game decided by the College football version of penalty kicks. What a terrible, terrible way to decide a hard-fought game. I hope that rule changes.
I thought it should have been a consideration but we were playing with a one legged second string QB. That eliminates a lot of RPO and rollouts which are run a lot in those situations. In retrospect it may have been worth a shot.
 

TheWerewolfFromTwilight

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Lets say you MAKE the 2. What do you feel the win percentage chances are as opposed to tying it with 2:23.

Here's my guess

Make the 2: Tennessee kicks a GW FG: 25%

Kick the XP: Tennessee wins in OT: 70%

Making the 2 gives yourself a much better chance to win the game. However, the chances of making the 2 are between 40%-55% (studies show) and would be lower with a backup QB.

If you kick the extra point, Tennessee is playing the ensuing possession in super safe mode. If you go for two... first of all, you probably don't make it. And if you do, Tennessee is trying to score and in four-down mode to do it.

Tough to say we made the wrong call when we tied the game and, if Narduzzi calls a timeout when he should have, we get the ball back with over a minute left.

Even overtime wasn't a terrible thing. If Kancey dives at Hooker on that last play, it's an easy sack. If Devonshire doesn't fall, it's an easy PBU. Of course we'd probably have lost anyway if they kicked a field goal, because Sauls' kick to tie it would have hit the Tennessee band.
 
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My thought was always that if you get to OT you have to score to win, and most times you need a TD. So, if at some point you if you need to get into the endzone, go for two and end it. If you fail you gain a lot of respect as a coach for playing to win, not to lose. If you're down a TD in OT as was the case Saturday, you have a huge disadvantage. Although it was a much different situation, facing 4th and 5 on the Georgia 35, the conventional wisdom would say try to pick up the first down. But Marino goes for Brown in the end zone. That's the kind of gutsy stuff that I'd like to see more of.
 
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My thought was always that if you get to OT you have to score to win, and most times you need a TD. So, if at some point you if you need to get into the endzone, go for two and end it. If you fail you gain a lot of respect as a coach for playing to win, not to lose. If you're down a TD in OT as was the case Saturday, you have a huge disadvantage. Although it was a much different situation, facing 4th and 5 on the Georgia 35, the conventional wisdom would say try to pick up the first down. But Marino goes for Brown in the end zone. That's the kind of gutsy stuff that I'd like to see more of.

I just think 2+ minutes was too much time left to take that risk of going for 2. Maybe if there was under a minute. But if Tennessee has the ball at the 25 with 2+ minutes, they throw to #11 every play, march down the field, and kick a 20 yard FG to win it with no time on the clock. There is zero chance we stop them on four straight downs outside of FG range. None, nada, zilch.
 
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My thought was always that if you get to OT you have to score to win, and most times you need a TD. So, if at some point you if you need to get into the endzone, go for two and end it. If you fail you gain a lot of respect as a coach for playing to win, not to lose. If you're down a TD in OT as was the case Saturday, you have a huge disadvantage. Although it was a much different situation, facing 4th and 5 on the Georgia 35, the conventional wisdom would say try to pick up the first down. But Marino goes for Brown in the end zone. That's the kind of gutsy stuff that I'd like to see more of.
I agree with this, but with the caveat that there isn’t as much time left as there was. Under thirty seconds, maybe. Under ten, I’d seriously consider it. But 2:23? With all their time outs? And shown that they can move pretty much at will between the 30s? And a kicker who had hit a career long earlier? No.
 
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I just think 2+ minutes was too much time left to take that risk of going for 2. Maybe if there was under a minute. But if Tennessee has the ball at the 25 with 2+ minutes, they throw to #11 every play, march down the field, and kick a 20 yard FG to win it with no time on the clock. There is zero chance we stop them on four straight downs outside of FG range. None, nada, zilch.
That makes sense to a point, but it's also saying there is zero chance of stopping Tennessee in OT.
 
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I agree with this, but with the caveat that there isn’t as much time left as there was. Under thirty seconds, maybe. Under ten, I’d seriously consider it. But 2:23? With all their time outs? And shown that they can move pretty much at will between the 30s? And a kicker who had hit a career long earlier? No.
Tennessee could have won the game in regulation, but they came up short. They could have come up just as short if we were leading by 1, in the last 2:23.
 
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We pretty much stopped them the whole second half .
True, but they were moving the ball better than in the first half. A short field in OT changes everything, and that's exactly what happened. I see both the pros and cons of going for two, it's just that I believe sometimes you need to roll the dice.
 
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Tennessee could have won the game in regulation, but they came up short. They could have come up just as short if we were leading by 1, in the last 2:23.
Sure that could have happened; if THEIR kicker had missed two very makeable FG and nearly blew it on another FG, that would have made the case more convincing.

But alas, we always seem to come up against guys who have the game of their lives, either passing / running / catching / kicking. In this case, we faced the latter. You had to factor in this guy could plausibly hit a kick from 55 and in, which didn’t leave much yardage for Tennessee to have to pick up with 2 min and change left and all their timeouts.

Obviously since we didn’t do squat in OT on either side of the ball and lost with a whimper, it’s easy to say we should have tried that.

But while we are dealing in hypotheticals and what ifs, perhaps we should have just run the clock out in the first half too rather than allow Slovis to be knocked out of the game and fumble away and allow another gift score to TN. Or gone for it instead on those missed FG. Or maybe our two punt blockers shouldn’t have fought each other over the ball and gone out of bounds with it rather than pick it and score.
 

TheWerewolfFromTwilight

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Tennessee could have won the game in regulation, but they came up short. They could have come up just as short if we were leading by 1, in the last 2:23.

Not necessarily. Their entire approach would have been different, so we don't know what would have happened. Plus they would have had to go for it on 4th and 3, and they certainly could have converted that.

And, again, that all assumes we make the two-point conversion. It took us 4 downs to get the touchdown from the six, when we finally hit a pass that a hobbled Patti threw off his back foot to a receiver who wasn't even open and made a heck of a play on the ball.
 
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UPitt '89

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Lets say you MAKE the 2. What do you feel the win percentage chances are as opposed to tying it with 2:23.

Here's my guess

Make the 2: Tennessee kicks a GW FG: 25%

Kick the XP: Tennessee wins in OT: 70%

Making the 2 gives yourself a much better chance to win the game. However, the chances of making the 2 are between 40%-55% (studies show) and would be lower with a backup QB.
2:23 ... with Tennessee's offense and having 4 downs all the way down the field..... the percentage chance of Tenn kicking a GW FG would've been north of 50%.... not 25%.

Also.... the odds of the Pitt offense...as constituted at THAT point in the game... of converting a 2-point conversion were probably closer to the 25% number.
 

UPitt '89

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Tennessee could have won the game in regulation, but they came up short. They could have come up just as short if we were leading by 1, in the last 2:23.
No... they wouldn't have punted on 4th and 3 if they were behind by 1. And their play calling on the first 3 downs would've been more aggressive as well.

The odds of Tenn getting a GW FG with 2:23 to go were MUCH higher than the odds of Pitt convering a 2-point conversion with the offensive situation we had at QB.
 
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Listen, I probably wouldn't have but I was thinking it. 99.9% of college football coaches wouldn't have so there's no blame on Narduzzi there BUT as happy as I was to take OT at that point (assuming we'd hold Ten on the final drive as we did), I thought we were at a bad disadvantage in OT. Happy to be there and hoping for a Tennessee mistake but they're significantly better than us with a backup QB. Had we went for 2 and made it, maybe we win the game though Tennessee's play calling would have been different trailing so they still could have made a GW FG.

I'll tell you this though: On Pitt's OT drive, I was so hoping they'd go for 2 and the win. It was going to go to do dueling 2 point attempts anyway, which is the dumbest thing ever so go ahead and decide it right there. No point risking another drive with a backup QB and FCS OL.

I hope to God I never see a Pitt game decided by the College football version of penalty kicks. What a terrible, terrible way to decide a hard-fought game. I hope that rule changes.
Why??? Even if you make it, your giving a Tennessee team over 2 minutes to get into FG range. The long pass was there ALL DAY, thankfully as a Pitt fan, Tennessee stopped using it in the 2nd quarter or the game would have been over by halftime.
Also, there is NO WAY that I place Nick Patti into that position. He was under pressure most of the time and he did nothing to make Narduzzi have any faith in his ability to pull off a two point conversion.
 

Burgh15

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I definitely could see the argument for it, but had no problem taking the extra point.
 

VolPanther

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Another thing, and I mentioned this in another thread, that I have a problem with was this:

Everybody is complaining about us trying to score at the end of the first half. But what I have a bigger issue with is Narduzzi letting the clock tick down when it was 3rd and 19. We could have called timeout and got the ball back with like 1:10 instead of 22 seconds or whatever it was. Did we not have confidence in our defense to stop a 3rd and 19?
And why did we not have anyone back to return the punt or at least fair catch it and save us 10 yards? then next play Slovis is hurt we turn the ball over and give up 3 points and go into half down 7 not just 4
 

NKSplitter

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I absolutely would not have gone for 2 in that situation. If you don't convert it, Tennessee runs the clock out and wins in regulation. If you do, there was still plenty of time for them to get into field goal range.

In overtime if Pitt had got into the endzone after Tennessee's touchdown; not sure if the coaching staff would have, but in my mind you 110% go for 2 there.

Why? The moment Tennessee made the extra point, Pitt was going to need to convert a 2 point conversion at some point to win the game regardless. Might as well put in what you think your best 2 point conversion play is right then and there and go for broke.

If you get in, you win without Tennessee ever getting a chance to convert a 2 point conversion of their own. If you don't get in, you lose, but you lose having already tried what you thought was your best chance to convert a 2 point conversion and would have lost anyways if Tennessee converted and snuffed out the same play in the subsequent overtime.

That's why under the new overtime rules playing defense first is a bigger advantage than it used to be. Not only do you know if you absolutely need a touchdown, or if a field goal could win or send the game to another overtime; you also know if going for 2 makes sense on a touchdown. If you score the first touchdown, it isn't a no brainer because if you go for 2 and don't convert, then the other team can beat you with a touchdown and extra point.
 
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Joe the Panther Fan

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I absolutely would not have gone for 2 in that situation. If you don't convert it, Tennessee runs the clock out and wins in regulation. If you do, there was still plenty of time for them to get into field goal range.

In overtime if Pitt had got into the endzone after Tennessee's touchdown; not sure if the coaching staff would have, but in my mind you 110% go for 2 there.

Why? The moment Tennessee made the extra point, Pitt was going to need to convert a 2 point conversion at some point to win the game regardless. Might as well put in what you think your best 2 point conversion play is right then and there and go for broke.

If you get in, you win without Tennessee ever getting a chance to convert a 2 point conversion of their own. If you don't get in, you lose, but you lose having already tried what you thought was your best chance to convert a 2 point conversion and would have lost anyways if Tennessee converted and snuffed out the same play in the subsequent overtime.

That's why under the new overtime rules playing defense first is a bigger advantage than it used to be. Not only do you know if you absolutely need a touchdown, or if a field goal could win or send the game to another overtime; you also know if going for 2 makes sense on a touchdown. If you score the first touchdown, it isn't a no brainer because if you go for 2 and don't convert, then the other team can beat you with a touchdown and extra point.


You do know that they don't go to the two pointers only until the third overtime, right?
 

Gunga_Galunga

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Going for two is the emotional decision.

You kick the PAT in that situation every time. NCAA 2 point conversion rate is 43.5%. Then factor in a QB who can't walk and the playbook you have to work with because of his injury. They were much more likely to get stopped than make it.
 
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NKSplitter

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You do know that they don't go to the two pointers only until the third overtime, right?
The rule is new enough and Pitt has never got to the point where it was in play that I forgot and was thinking it went into play after the first OT. So yeah, disregard everything I said there, would kick an extra point off a touchdown in that scenario.
 

Sean Miller Fan

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You do know that they don't go to the two pointers only until the third overtime, right?
Yea but nobody wants the game to end in penalty kicks. Can you imagine being a team that scores in the 2nd OT to go down 1 but opts to kick the XP to take the game to PK's instead of going for the 2 and the win right there? Just go for 2 now.
 
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No... they wouldn't have punted on 4th and 3 if they were behind by 1. And their play calling on the first 3 downs would've been more aggressive as well.

The odds of Tenn getting a GW FG with 2:23 to go were MUCH higher than the odds of Pitt convering a 2-point conversion with the offensive situation we had at QB.
Sounds like you're saying it's better to be tied in the last 2 minutes than to be up by one if you convert the two points. I get it that strategy takes on many dimensions and decisions, but too many coaches seem to live in terror of missing a two-point conversion. All too often they lose by trying too hard not to lose. The odds were also higher that Tennessee had a better chance of winning the OT, which unfortunately became a tough reality for us. While you and I see this in different ways, there is a lot of validity to both of our arguments, and that's the whole point of this board. And what we're both saying is at the end of the night we want to see the Victory Lights. Hail to Pitt my friend!
 

TheWerewolfFromTwilight

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Sounds like you're saying it's better to be tied in the last 2 minutes than to be up by one if you convert the two points. I get it that strategy takes on many dimensions and decisions, but too many coaches seem to live in terror of missing a two-point conversion. All too often they lose by trying too hard not to lose. The odds were also higher that Tennessee had a better chance of winning the OT, which unfortunately became a tough reality for us. While you and I see this in different ways, there is a lot of validity to both of our arguments, and that's the whole point of this board. And what we're both saying is at the end of the night we want to see the Victory Lights. Hail to Pitt my friend!

It was just way too early to go for two. I mean, we did have them in 3rd and 8 in OT (or something like that). If Kancey dives at Hooker, he probably causes a fumble that wins the game... or at least sacks him and holds them to 3.

I think we'd have gone for two in OT, which I would have been 100% cool with.
 
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Gunga_Galunga

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Sounds like you're saying it's better to be tied in the last 2 minutes than to be up by one if you convert the two points. I get it that strategy takes on many dimensions and decisions, but too many coaches seem to live in terror of missing a two-point conversion. All too often they lose by trying too hard not to lose. The odds were also higher that Tennessee had a better chance of winning the OT, which unfortunately became a tough reality for us. While you and I see this in different ways, there is a lot of validity to both of our arguments, and that's the whole point of this board. And what we're both saying is at the end of the night we want to see the Victory Lights. Hail to Pitt my friend!
They live in terror of missing the 2 point conversion because they miss it more than they make it.