Clock management can be hard for some college football coaches, but what Boston College Eagles head coach Steve Addazio did at the end of the first half against Notre Dame is beyond comprehension.
Notre Dame was looking to pad their 14-10 lead late in the first half when Brandon Wimbush was picked off on a pass over the middle by the Eagles’ Lukas Denis. Denis got his hands on the overthrown pass and returned the ball to the Notre Dame 44-yard line with 13 seconds left to play. With a pair of timeouts, this seemed like enough time to run a couple of plays to setup what would likely be a long-distance field goal.
Instead, Boston College handed the ball to their trusty running back, Jon Hilliam, for a short run up the middle for a gain of two yards after an incomplete pass. Still with two timeouts to spare, the Eagles could have run at least one more play to setup the field goal. But, instead, Addazio opted to…let the clock run out at the Notre Dame 42-yard line.
There are lots of Boston College fans expressing their displeasure over the coaching decision, and for good reason. The Eagles may as well have gone to the locker room waving a white flag on their way. So what gives? Honestly, I’m not sure.
It would probably be an understandable admission of a lack of faith in the kicking game, but Colton Lichtenberg had already booted a 38-yarder earlier in the half and he has been four-for-four on his field goal tries in the past two weeks, including a kick from the 40-49-yard range this season. So that excuse is out the window. Besides, even if there was a lack of faith in the field goal kicking, why not try throwing the ball down field?
Anthony Brown ended the first half completing 11 of his 18 passes for 111 yards, including a pair of 20+ yard plays. And with time to throw a pass, or two, you could have potentially gotten into a closer spot for a field goal try.
But Addazio sat on the sideline, handed over his headset and took two timeouts in a four-point game to halftime with him. That is just bad coaching, and it sends a weak message to your players.