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If You Can’t Beat ’em, Trick ’em

Listen To The Podcast!     Coach L. Albaugh      DBLITY

Here’s the scenario. You’re trailing 21-14, or 28-21, basically your down 7. Your team scores a touchdown with under a minute to go. Now it’s decision time – do you kick to tie or go for 2 to win? Well…it depends on many things of course. Are you at home or on the road? That’s not a big one to me but it could be to some coaches in a certain environment. OR, in your gut you just know you’re very fortunate to be in this position. The other guys are better. They’re bigger, faster, stronger, and your guys have played the perfect game to stay in the game. They (your opponents) had a couple of turnovers that you capitalized on. So, here you are with a chance. Now you wouldn’t tell reporters or your fans that your opponents have a superior team, but YOU and your coaches know it. In this case, I’m going for 2 to win the game. I’m thinkin’ I don’t wanna go into overtime with these guys, I’m gonna try and win it now and get outta here. Or, maybe it’s the the way, your team has given these guys a few breaks to be here, but you just know they can’t hang with you in OT. It’s a heckuva decision either way. You just might go for 2 cause if you execute, they can’t stop you for 3 yards. But if we bobble the snap or have a bad exchange…you get the idea, all this stuff goes through your mind.

I saw a high school game in the first week of the season and this exact scenario occurred. The trailing team, 21-14, scored with under a minute to go. 21-20. I thought they would kick it for the tie and go OT. The other team controlled most of the first half but the trailing team came on strong in the 4th quarter. They were stronger, had fewer two way players, and looked like they were wearin’ ’em down. I thought, kick it, and beat ’em in overtime. They can’t stay with you anymore. Well, they went for 2, got stopped. Lost 21-20. And it was a play that they went to 2 TEs and tried to power it in. A play that had failed earlier in the game. Now, far be it from me to question this call, this coach is a veteran with enormous success. Heck, there’s no guarantee my way would’ve turned out better. It’s EASY to 2nd guess. It’s just not what I would have done.

Then last weekend I saw the exact same scenario with Clemson and North Carolina. NC scores late to make it 21-20. I thought Mack Brown absolutely made the right call by going for 2. Who wants to go into OT with those beasts from Clemson. NC ran an option play to the right and Clemson blew it up. Too darn much speed on the perimeter. But go at ’em? Nah, Clemson too strong for that. So what do you do? Well, as a coach I know say, If you can’t beat ’em, trick ’em. Now I say that tongue in cheek, joking around. Football is full of trickery and it’s part of the game. A play action pass is trickery. You’re sayin’ Hey, let’s pretend like we’re going to run it and fake it to a back, then roll out and throw it. Trickery. Who doesn’t do a play action pass? Or you’re running triple option. Who has the ball? QB or FB? Oh, the QB kept it! Sorry, tricked you again. Pitched it to the HB at the last second. Or how bout in the shotgun? QB and RB fake a handoff and the QB keeps it or throws it. Even the spread uses trickery. Especially in this RPO stuff. More trickery. But what I’m really talkin about is having THAT PLAY. Something you haven’t shown all year. You’re going to pull it out of the bag for just this situation. It’s really different. They haven’t scouted it, never seen it. Complete surprise and IF you execute, they CAN’T STOP IT. So to me, you’ve gotta have that play. Now it just so happens that in the Chiefpigskin store we have a video series by Craig Buzea, the head coach at HF High School in Illinois called  Highly Multiple Zone Based Offense. I believe it’s one of the best series we have on the store In those videos Coach Buzea includes some plays that are “special”. Just for these types of situations. They are really, really good. All you’ve gotta do is pick just one of his plays, maybe two, and put it in your hip pocket. I would even tell Mack Brown of No. Carolina to take a look, he could’ve used it against Clemson. AND THAT’S MY TAKE!

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a first-in-the-nation bill Monday that clears the way for college players to be paid from endorsement deals. NCAA rules strictly prohibit athletes from profiting in any way from their sports, and the law would still bar schools from directly paying athletes. I’m not for paying college athletes but I will say if someone is making money off your picture or endorsement, it’s only fair you get a share. The problem is there are some who will figure out a way to use this to pay athletes illegally. We’ll see how it plays out.

One more thing…STL Cardinals…

Hey join us next week…

Sweet 16 Countdown: 51. Alaska -9.2   50. Vermont -1.7   49. North Dakota 3.3   48. Wyoming 5.2  47. Rhode Island 8.4   46. District of Columbia 8.4   45. Delaware 14.7   44. South Dakota 15.3   43. New Hampshire 16.7   42. Montana 19.2  41. Maine 19.5   40. New Mexico 20.5  39. Oregon 24.2  38. West Virginia 26.3  37. Nevada 31.2  36. Idaho 32.2  35. Nebraska 32.6  34. New York 33.0  33. Iowa 34.4  32. Minnesota 35.9   31. Kentucky 36.3   30. Hawaii 36.5  29. Connecticut 37.3  28. Massachusetts 38.3 27. Wisconsin 39.9  26. Virginia 40.8  25. Oklahoma 41.5  24. Michigan 41.53 23. Kansas 41.8 22. Tennessee 41.9  21. Washington 42.6 20. Indiana 43.9 19. Colorado 44.4  18. South Carolina 44.61  17. New Jersey 44.63  16. Arkansa 45.0 15. Arizona 45.2 14. Mississippi 45.6 13. Alabama 45.8  12. Utah 46.0  11. North Carolina 46.7  10. Missouri 49.0  9. Pennsylvania 49.9  8. Illinois 50.3  7. Louisiana 51.9  6. Maryland 52.8  5. Georgia 57.2  4. Texas 60.8 3. Ohio 61.0  2. Florida 62.5  1. California 69.4

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Coach Albaugh coached high school football in Illinois for 28 years. During that time he coached at every level and on both sides of the ball. He was the offensive and defensive line coach for four undefeated teams and was a defensive coordinator in his last 11 years, twice reaching the semi finals of the Illinois state playoffs.