When David Cutcliffe decided to go for it on fourth and one on the Miami 13, something came to mind.
Yep. Baseball. It happens in baseball all the time. First inning. A team loads the bases with nobody out. The opposing pitcher struggles mightily but, somehow, gets out of the inning without giving up any runs.
But that’s okay, they’ll get ’em back in the next inning. Or the next. They had no trouble getting the pitcher in trouble, so they’ll do it again.
Nope. That first inning was all they got. The pitcher settles in, and they never get another runner passed first base.
Impressive First Series
Duke looked great on their first possession against Miami. For nearly five minutes, they marched down the field. Daniel Jones completed an 18-yard pass to Johnathan Lloyd. Shaun Wilson ran for 12 yards. After a clipping penalty on Evan Lisle, Duke faced third and 19 on the Miami 42. Not a problem. Shaun Wilson ran twenty yards for a first down on the Miami 22.
Cutcliffe Goes For It
Then David Cutcliffe decided to go for it on fourth down rather than kick a field goal. A blitzing, untouched Michael Pinckney sacked Daniel Jones for an 11-yard loss.
Miami got the ball. Duke lost their mojo.
Miami scored touchdowns on their first two possessions and never looked back.
David Cutcliffe’s Words
“Offensively, it looked like we were going to just move the football almost at will. You can run it and we were throwing it okay at that point. Penalties, fourth down and short, we busted protection and gave up that sack.”
“That’s football. You think about kicking the field goal right there, just to finish with points. But everything in my book says to go for it. I know how talented they are, and I knew that they would create some measure of points… I don’t know if we can make a field goal anyway.”
There’s no point in second guessing David Cutcliffe. As he said after the game, “danged if you do and danged if you don’t.”