Assigning Blame and Credit for Penn State Fateful Fourth Down Failure

This is the weekly analysis of the play, idea or series from the weekend’s slew of the college games that what it means to go forward. After four days, the fallout from the penn state lost fourth down. There were a lot of questions arose including why that play was chosen by Nittany Lions, why it didn’t work, who deserves the credit and for whom the blame should be?

All these questions have answers, some are easy and some are complicated. All the answers to these questions are completely based upon the suggestions of experts and those answers are basically unpacked in four specific sections. One section explains that how the shifting of presnap resulted in penstate’s offensive line’s confusion.

The second section is about why pen state chose the option to break down. According to the third section, what could have happened if the ball had been pulled out by the Sander’s midsection and forth states whether the play-calling tendencies of Ricky Rahne and James Franklin hurt or helped the chances of Nittany Lion.

  • Before the snap

There was a change in the positions and as a reaction of that change, Franklin successfully took a timeout and penn stated returned towards the field. Then just sometime before the snap they shifted again towards their previous formations. Just a minute before the snap, sanders moved from McSorley’s from right towards his left. This was a potential move to get the benefit of the numbers and Ohio State answered this by taking his own shift. This is why the failure was not because of call.

  • At the snap

It’s like a decoy third option with zone read bubble screen for so many coordinators of the defensive side this play really worked like an inverted option that could result in a bubble screen or a sandy dive. Sanders were not able to reach the Alley and this was so because of execution of twist by Ohio. So they could not keep the ball outside because of the presence of Ohio state.

  • After the snap

There was so much penetration in the field upon Jones and Young. The play was doomed at every possible level but in the middle, it was up to an extent and this is why Franklin admitted that it was not a good play call.

  • Revisiting the play call

Only three out of those eleven opportunities were used well and others were still left. They did the opposite what everyone was expected and this is how everyone was left stunned.


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