Arizona Wildcats Football: Should Rich Rodriguez Have Played For Overtime?

Jason O. Watson - Getty Images

Situation: Arizona has a few timeouts and under a minute left in a tied game with Stanford to drive about 50 yards to get into field goal range. Rich Rodriguez opts for overtime. Do you agree with this approach?

Rich Rodriguez's decision to play for overtime was ______.

Avinash Kunnath, Pacific Takes & California Golden Blogs (Cal): Painful. Arizona's five touchdown drives went 1:54, 2:34, 1:17, 2:59, 2:19, and four of those drives started from inside Arizona's 30. 48 seconds is plenty of time for Matt Scott to move the football into field goal range, and he had been torching Stanford's secondary for much of the second half. I get why he did it (Scott had thrown about 65 passes up to that point and an interception would have turned the game the other way), but there was still an opportunity to take a shot.

AndyPanda, Building The Dam (Oregon State): I didn't see the game, so I don't know all the circumstances. But generally, I believe you don't take unnecessary chances, and a turnover could have resulted in a Stanford fg to win. And Arizona's offense is a good matchup on paper against 'Furd in an OT scenario. I don't see anything to criticize.

Kevin Zimmerman, Arizona Desert Swarm (Arizona): Bizarre. For a guy who is a risk-taker, the move was, as many people put it, a lot like a Mike Stoops decision. But it's not the reason Arizona lost. Maybe it was a bit conservative, but the Wildcats would have risked a 3-and-out and a Stanford possession if they went deep and perhaps a pick-six if they attempted to march down the field with out routes. The more I think about it, it was also less of a knock on quarterback Matt Scott than it was a knock on kicker John Bonano.

Gekko Mojo, UW Dawg Pound (Washington): A non-story. One of the reasons that Matt Scott set a Pac 12 record for attempts in a game was because Stanford had effectively taken away his running game with their base D and were playing a Cover 2 trying to keep the likes of Austin Hill and Dan Buckner from killing them deep. From what I saw, Scott was feasting on the middle of the field all day. Even if those same plays were there in the last minute or so of the game, it wasn't going to be enough to get down the field. RichRod made a defensible - if not very popular - call in not risking a turnover and playing for OT.

thecassino, UW Dawg Pound (Washington): Idiotic. You're on the road. You're the underdog. You have to play for the win, especially when your QB has torched their defense all game. With time and timeouts, this decision made no sense at all. I think Herman Edwards has a quote about what you should do it these situations...

norcalnick, California Golden Blogs (Cal): Shockingly risk-averse but probably irrelevant. I think the chances of Arizona driving far enough to score points with so little time left wasn't especially large, it almost certainly outweighed the chance of a mistake that gave the game to Stanford. It's worth remembering that Scott's only interception was pretty fluky.

David Piper, Addicted to Quack (Oregon): Disappointing. Rodriguez is widely known as an aggressive offensive innovator, so it was disappointing to see him play so conservatively. When you play not to lose, a loss is exactly what you deserve.

Jack Follman, Pacific Takes (Washington): Baffling, especially with the way their offense was moving the ball through the air. You have to take risks if you are going to beat a better team on the road and all they needed was a field goal, not a touchdown.

Adam Butler, Pacific Takes (Arizona) & Pac Hoops: Dosfjoasjgpjoioasgnl!!!!!!!! No that’s not a Scandinavian language, that’s frustration. I couldn’t figure it out and didn’t understand a pair of draw plays to lead into the OT period. Why not just take a knee? Much of the offense was clicking but this brings me back to wondering what kind of mettle this Wildcat team has and asking just how much Rodriguez trusts his team with the game on the line? Trust questions aren’t good questions.

Josh Schilchter, Fish Duck (Oregon) & Pacific Takes: Regrettably conservative, much like David Shaw's choice to play for OT against Oklahoma State last year. Never play "not to lose."

Jon Woods, Ralphie Report (Colorado): Awful. You can't play for overtime in a road game like that when your quarterback is as on fire as Matt Scott was. He got what he deserved. Was a shame that Arizona lost because they should have won that game.

Ben Knibbe, UW Dawg Pound (Washington): Over-conservative. In a game featuring as much scoring as this one, especially in the second half, RichRod blew it with this decision. 45 seconds is more than enough time to get the ball down the field into field goal range. Arizona had over ten plays that netted 20+ yards in the second half alone. Mistake, plain and simple.

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