Things are not going BYU’s way tonight against LSU, and that’s not a surprise. LSU is good! BYU isn’t bad, necessarily, but it was always going to be an uphill battle, and that’s how it played out. And then, trailing 20-0 in the fourth quarter, BYU attempted something even a hyper-aggressive NCAA 14 player wouldn’t have gone for: a fake punt. On 4th and 1.
Inside their own 15.
And despite all that misguided setup, the actual execution was somehow even worse, and more comical, thanks to BYU punter Johnny Linehan’s meandering approach:
What in the world are you doing? In non-obvious fake situations, it sometimes looks like the punter, if he were so inclined, could tuck the ball the last second and run for decent yardage, but that’s when the opposing team is attempting to set up a return. In this situation, though, LSU has no incentive to mount a return, and appears to be in the classic punt safe zone formation.
Linehan’s indecision is fascinating; I timed it at 3.57 seconds between the ball being snapped and Linehan finally cutting upfield, right into the waiting arms of an LSU mob. It’s possible he freelanced the decision, but that doesn’t seem likely, given the situation.
And as silly as that was, the playcalling was worse. Why not just go for it traditionally, if you’re willing to go for it there? And you should definitely be willing to go for it, down 20 at that point in the game. The percentages undoubtedly favor a sneak or a power run or basically any other type of play than poor Johnny Linehan’s stroll towards the sideline.
But, in the end, we’re all winners.