2007: Auburn vs. LSU (The Chop Block/Byrd Game)

Byrdtdge6_medium

Have I ever yet mentioned that Tivo is a wonderful invention.  Last night, there was an open house at my daughter's day care because all the kids are moving up a classroom and people got an opportunity to meet the new teachers and the new kids in their classes.  Also at that time, ESPNU showed a replay of the 2007 LSU vs. Auburn game.  I got to come home and watch the game on Tivo.

Observations:

The Last-Second Touchdown:  First, and most importantly, it remains a good call to have thrown for the end zone at the end.  The announcers made much, and fans have made much, of the fact that the play ended with :01 on the clock, but as is plainly evident from the picture above, there was plenty of time and the clock should have been stopped sooner.  "But what if the time had run out?"  If the time had run out, replay would have showed this to be incorrect and time would have been added.

The play started right when the clock changed from :09 to :08.  There was a 3-step drop and then a heave to the end zone from around the 25 yard line.  This process takes, as shown, about 4 seconds.  Flynn and Miles had twice as much time on the clock as they needed, and that was after being really slow in getting to the line.  I don't see why everyone thinks this call was so risky.  The only thing that made it appear risky was the fact that the clock-keeper screwed up in a way that could have been corrected if it had meant anything.  Actually, Auburn probably should have challenged the time-keeping to give themselves an opportunity to take a final play from scrimmage.

If there was a problem with our clock management, it was not on this play.  It was on the previous two plays.  We had gotten a first down at the Auburn 25 with over a minute to go, and from that point forward we moved so slowly that we only got 3 plays off, the first two of which only netted 3 yards.

The Lafell Flip:  I had forgotten that this was the game in which Lafell flipped the ball over his head causing an interception.  I had thought that happened against Bama.  Shows you what I know.  I know that after that incident, Miles and Crowton continued to show confidence in Lafell and he became a new receiver.  He got over his drops and became, IMO, one of the best receivers in the conference.

The Chop Block:  Without this play, we probably beat Arkansas and finish the season with one loss.  I give players the benefit of the doubt that they don't deliberately do a dirty play, but it is almost criminal that this play happened right in front of an official and wasn't even called.

The 2-hour Rebroadcast:  There were a lot of big plays in that game, but I can't believe that this rebroadcast left out Auburn's final kickoff, which was short and set us up with good field position, and Richard Murphy's somewhat questionable 3rd down conversion.

What to Take Away:  I was reminded by watching this game of just how poor we were at getting plays in and run properly last year.  We had more delay penalties, burned timeouts, formation penalties, and illegal shift penalties than any team in memory, and this game was a microcosm of that.  With the playclock rules changing, one of the things we will absolutely have to do this year is get better at getting the play in and the team to the line of scrimmage.

 

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