Sunday, September 15, 2013

Looking back at bizarre play on missed field goal

Late in the third quarter UConn was still within striking range when a pair of plays changed the fortunes of both teams.

The first one was just a bizarre one as Taylor Mack fielded a missed 50-yard field goal in the end zone and after hesitating a bit, he took it out onto the field of play and was stopped at the 10. Just for clarification, I called a supervisor of officials who works at local high school and college games to make sure I understood the rule properly and he informed me that if the field goal was missed and not caught in the end zone then UConn would have gotten the ball at the 33. If Mack had taken a knee, the ball would have been placed at the 20 but instead the drive began at the 10.

UConn actually moved to ball out to the 38 before a hurried Whitmer was intercepted by Dexter McDougle who returned the pick 49 yards for a score.

Let's start with the initial play. Mack was merely following directions when he went down to catch the ball so it is hard to fault him for doing just that.

Here's how Mack described the play following the game.

"Coach told me to go back and catch the ball. I looked up and it was me trying to make a play and help the team. I guess if I would have taken a knee it would have been at the 20 and the offense could have gone somewhere else. I was just trying to make plays.

"If it happens and it goes positive you see it as a good highlight if it doesn’t come out then you are answering these types of questions. It just depends on what happens but everybody wants to make plays so you can’t get by trying to play it safe."

Obviously the play calls are much different for a drive starting at the 10 as opposed to one beginning at the 33 so who knows what would have transpired had the Huskies not tried to run the ball out of the end zone.

Paul Pasqualoni said the blame for the interception should be spread between quarterback Chandler Whitmer, the offensive line and receiver Geremy Davis.

"The film told us that we wanted him to sit in there and he sat in there and the protection broke down," Pasqualoni said on a call with the media earlier today. "It was a combination of three things, a combination of the protection, a combination of Chandler trying to get the ball out of his hands before he got blasted and a combination of the route. I think you can divide that one up."

Dexter McDougle, who returned the interception 49 yards for a touchdown, suffered a season-ending shoulder injury later in the game according to multiple reports coming out of Maryland.

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