OU football: Timeout proves to be the wrong decision
Bob Stoops called timeout with 46 seconds left in the game Saturday, when Baylor seemed to be content with going for overtime. You know the rest. Baylor coach Art Briles then decided he’s better get aggressive, and with eight seconds left in the game Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin threw the 34-yard touchdown pass that will live forever in Bear lore.
I can’t come down too hard on Stoops for calling the timeout, because when he did it, I wasn’t sure it was a bad call. OU had all the momentum. Briles, by his actions, had shown he wasn’t in an aggressive mode. The Sooner defense had registered two straight stops. Griffin had played superb all game, but a turnover wasn’t out of the question, if Baylor got sloppy.
But it was the wrong call. Not because of what happened. Because of how OU’s offense had transformed itself.
The same reasons that Stoops was ready to go for two points with 51 seconds left, down 38-37, before a false-start penalty pushed the Sooners back to the 8-yard line are the reasons that overtime looked awfully promising for OU.
The team with all those red-zone problems has solved its red-zone problems. Baylor had no clue how to stop Blake Bell and the BellBone formation. He was just barrelling into the end zone timen after time. Overtime becomes a short-field, short-yardage game. That plays right into Blake Bell.
Meanwhile, overtime works against Robert Griffin. The guy had four completions of longer than 50 yards, plus the 34-yard game-winner. There are no 50-yard completions in overtime. The field is condensed. Less room for receivers to roam free. Less space for Griffin to scramble. The defenders are stretched so far back covering that they can’t contain a running quarterback.
Griffin might well have kept Baylor scoring in overtime, but it wouldn’t have come as easily.
Meanwhile, Landry Jones could throw a 4-yard completion, Roy Finch could run for three yards and Bell could enter to hammer at the Baylor line on 3rd-and-3. OU’s chances were excellent in overtime.
Stoops’ timeout was the wrong call, because he had the advantage in overtime.
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