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College Football

Miami Fucked With One Of The Basic Rules Of Football And Paid The Price

Christian Leary #6 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Malik Rutherford #8, and Dominick Blaylock #12 celebrate a touchdown in the endzone against the Miami Hurricanes during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium on October 07, 2023 in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Lauren Sopourn/Getty Images

If there is one thing we know about college football coaches it's that they always believe they are the smartest guy in the room. The end of last night's otherwise unremarkable game between Miami and Georgia Tech only proves this to be true.

Let's take a minute to set up some basics: Georgia Tech had been up 17-10 in the fourth quarter, but 10 unanswered points put the 17th-ranked Hurricanes in the lead, and what looked like control of the game. With less than a minute left in the game Miami was facing third-and-10 on Georgia Tech's 30-yard line, while the Yellow Jackets had no timeouts left in the bag. If you have even a glancing knowledge of football conventions, you know the play call here. This is simple right? This isn't just "yelling at the TV because you think you know better" fandom. The call is clear. You take a knee, run out the clock and cue the marching band for the fight song.

This is as close to conventional wisdom as you can get. After the game Georgia Tech coach Brent Key said as much too, "We kind of thought they were taking a knee."

This is not what Miami coach Mario Cristobal and his coordinators did. Instead, Miami handed the ball off to running back Don Chaney Jr., who ran up the middle and promptly fumbled the ball away for Miami's fourth turnover of the night. That was bad, what happened next was worse. With 26-second left on the clock Georgia Tech crossed the field as quarterback Haynes King connected with Malik Rutherford to get to the Miami 44-yard line. Then, King dropped back, scrambled right as Miami closed in, and heaved a 44-yard shot to Christian Leary who slid into the end zone for a touchdown.

The Hurricanes are now 4-1 and will certainly have a lot to discuss while chewing tape from this game.

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