I know I’m not the only one that feels this way, but I know many of you will simply read the headline and then comment on this article without reading it; and not fully understanding what I mean by my headline.
Some of you will read the headline and assume that I meant he missed an opportunity to be the first coach to beat Clemson. Maybe you might be one of the few who think he missed an opportunity to pull a banged up Malik and give Evan Conley a chance to be a hero (He kinda did). Others may think it means Satterfield missed a golden opportunity to win back a portion of the fanbase. A few may think he missed an opportunity to secure his job.
All of you are entitled to your opinion, but the opportunity I think coach missed was a chance to give the team his trust 100%.
A chance to galvanize this team and the possibility to help them get back their confidence and belief.
Let me explain.
As most of you know, the Cards had first and goal at the two yard line with 1:18 on the clock in the fourth quarter and down by six points. On first down, they called a run play. I’m totally fine with a run in that situation, but to run a stretch play with your power back isn’t gonna cut it. The Cards needed a faster back to get to the edge to make that play work (Cooley or Hall). After the first down play didn’t work, I think every single person in the building knew that Malik was getting the ball on second down. Probably the most predictable play of the game. The result was a loss of 3 yards. To validate my point, see the photo below I captured of the second down run. Clemson knew it was coming too. Malik had no chance.
On third down, they ran Malik again, but tried to run him around the end. I’m not a fan of running out of a shotgun. That means the Malik took the snap at the 11 yard line. He had to run six yards just to get back to the line of scrimmage. Doesn’t seem like a great plan when it’s third and goal, but I’m not a coach so you decide if that sounds like a great plan. I trust Malik, but I think he was put in a position with a very low chance of success.
Fourth down was supposed to be a pass play. Both receivers were covered. Malik made the right decision to not throw it. His only chance was to scramble and try to make something out of nothing, but he slipped.
I tell you that series of events to tell you what I think Satterfield could have done to let his team know he believes in them because I feel like the plays he called didn’t scream, “I believe in you.”
I think that while Satterfield had the offense huddled up on the sideline waiting for the referees to get the Marshall catch correctly ruled, I wish Satterfield would have told his team this… “Look, I completely trust all of you. It doesn’t matter if we win this game or not, I believe in you. So here is what we are going to do. We need 2 yards. 2 YARDS! We have four downs to get it. We are gonna line up and run it straight down their throats. If it takes all four downs then so be it. We are gonna line up Marshon in the backfield to block for Jalen. We have one of the best O-lines in the country so I know the O-line is gonna open a hole to run through. I’m putting the game completely in your hands because I believe in you and I trust you. Now let’s go show them what we are made of.”
My opinion is that this approach may or may not have won the game, but it gave them the best chance to win.
And no matter the outcome it could have given this team a true sense of belief. You know, the word that adorns their helmet. A true opportunity.
*Please Note* This is simply an opinion piece. Your opinion may be different than mine and I respect that. I welcome everyone to comment with their opinion, but please beware that this is in no way a “fire Satterfield” piece. I’m not ready for that so please keep those comments until the end of the year when we review the season. Thanks!
As Always, GO CARDS!