40 Seconds Left. Gamecocks Attempt 57 Yard Field Goal.

By FirstDown PlayBook on Oct 13, 2019

Okay, we coached for thirty years ourselves so we don’t like to second guess coaches. After all, it’s easy the day after but for three reasons we are going to talk about a game situation from yesterday. The 57 yard field goal attempt late in the game is the topic.

First South Carolina won the football game in one of the biggest wins in the schools history.  Secondly, we actually thought of this as the game was going on at the moment it mattered and not after the fact. Finally, we think it might help you if you are ever in this position.

This game situation was at the end of the Georgia and South Carolina game and the Gamecocks had the ball at the Georgia 40 yard line with 40 seconds left in regulation. The score was tied 17-17 and Carolina had driven the ball this far but was stalled and it was now 4th and 3. There seemed to be three choices and none of them without risk. Head coach Will Muschamp had a difficult decision.

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The choices seemed to be with go for it to get closer for your kicker and keep control of the clock for the last 40 seconds. However, if you don’t make it, you turn the ball over to Jake Fromm and the Georgia offense with 40 seconds and a short field to score the winning the field goal.

The second choice was to punt it and try to pin Georgia back with a long field to get into field goal range. However, we have all seen punters kick this ball in the end zone or shank it out of bounds, netting you about 20 yards on the punt.

Georgia ultimately chose a third option and elected to try a difficult 57 yard field goal that was off the mark and turned the ball over to Georgia on a short field. Some days things just work out well because Georgia failed to do anything with this opportunity.

Where are we going with all of this? We think there was another option that would have given South Carolina the element of surprise and would have given them a chance to pin Georgia inside the 10 yard line. Once again, our goal here is not to second guess (and yes South Carolina won the game!) but to give you some food for thought if you are ever in this situation. Watch this short video to see how a pooch punt by your kicker could bail you out in the situation.