IOWA CITY - Kirk Ferentz knows more about football than all the rest of us combined, but I'm struggling with something he said after the Iowa Hawkeyes lost to Wisconsin Saturday.
The Hawkeyes were trailing 14-6 when they drove 60 yards to the Wisconsin 20-yard line, where they faced 4th-and-5 with about 5 1/2 minutes left in the game. A touchdown and two-point conversion would have tied it, but Ferentz called for a field goal to try and pull within 14-9 instead.
Keep in mind, Iowa had trouble moving the ball against Wisconsin most of the day and finished with only 236 yards of total offense. That 4th-and-5 situation at the 20 might have represented Iowa's best chance to win the game, perhaps in overtime.
It looks worse in retrospect that Keith Duncan missed the 38-yard attempt, leaving the score 14-6, but the Hawkeyes still would have needed a touchdown to win the game even if they had pulled within 14-9.
I asked Ferentz in the post-game press conference about his decision to go for three points in that situation.
"You have to score twice," he responded. "Somehow, some way, you have to score twice. If it had been something less, like 4th-and-2, we probably would have gone for the touchdown, but 4th-and-5, you know ..."
Score twice? Yes, to win the game, but not to tie it.
"In the situation we were in, we felt that was the best play," Ferentz continued after I asked a follow-up question. "We're going to have to score twice. Read more...