Staples: Where does Kirby Smart’s timeout rank among the CFP’s top 10 calls?

If Kirby Smart calls Georgia’s first timeout of the second half and there’s not 8:58 left in the Peach Bowl on Saturday, the Bulldogs will likely lose and Ohio State will face TCU in Los Angeles for the national title. would have become

A timeout smashed a fake punt four inches and inches that would have absolutely worked*. Georgia didn’t line up in a way they could stop the fakes. Georgia would probably have run out of time after Stetson Bennett attacked his AD Mitchell and Jack Podolzny scored first with his 54 seconds remaining.

*Unless officials didn’t realize there were 12 players on the Ohio State field. But it didn’t seem like they were aware of it in real time, so Smart’s timeout was probably still very important..

Smart’s timeout was one of the most important calls in college football playoff history, but it was also the least important. Today we rank the top 10 calls. Smart or TCU’s Sonny Dykes is well aware that if the team is in contention for the national title, they may have to make more serious calls in a week.

No. 10: Target tight ends — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day and offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson

Tight ends Jeremy Ruckert and Luke Farrell had three combined touchdown catches in the shortened 2020 regular season in the Big Ten, Ohio. and Farrell combined three touchdown catches in the first half.

Clemson led 14–7 when Farrell made this adult catch of a Justin Fields pass for the third goal.

Day and Wilson continued to play against the trend in the second quarter as Clemson expended resources trying to cover the Buckeyes’ elite receivers. Fields tied his double with Ruckert for a touchdown this quarter, and Ohio State took his first CFP win since the national title match following the 2014 season after breaking up with him 35-14. rice field.

No. 9: Make Crossers Hot Targets for Pressure — Garrett Riley, TCU Offensive Coordinator

Sometimes, quarterback options are extinguished by free rushers. During Saturday’s Fiesta Bowl, Michigan pressure forced Horned Frogs QB Max Duggan to backpedal and throw two out to hot receivers. I had an opportunity.

On a second-and-goal play in the second quarter, two Wolverines got loose and chased Duggan backwards. Duggan calmly flicked the ball toward Tay Barber. Tay Barber was streaking from left to right behind the area vacated by Rusher.

A more significant version of this occurred in the fourth quarter, when TCU faced 3rd and 7, clinging to a 3-point lead after Michigan scored a touchdown following a Horned Toad fumble. Michigan safety Rod Moore forced Duggan to retreat to avoid the sack. Duggan’s only option was a throw to Quentin Johnston. Quentin Johnston was not over the line to score, but like Barber before, Moore had room as he blitzed by clearing the area. The end result was a 76-yard touchdown that put TCU back in control.

8. Timeless pop pass — Tony Elliot, Clemson offensive coordinator

Clemson was trailed by the Buckeyes by two in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl, but play-caller Elliott (now Virginia’s head coach) said tailback Travis Etienne could have played Ohio if there was space around him. I knew I could break through State University’s talented defense. Etienne did just that early in the second half when he took a dumpoff from Trevor Lawrence for a 53-yard touchdown that gave Clemson a brief lead.

Lawrence had previously stumbled past the Ohio State defense with a 67-yard touchdown run. Elliott played out the Buckeyes’ fear of Lawrence’s leg by sending Lawrence towards the line of scrimmage as if Lawrence was planning to run. This drew the Ohio State linebacker to the line of scrimmage, allowing Etienne to sneak past. Lawrence threw the ball to Etienne, who turned on the jets for the go-ahead score. Clemson wins 29-23.

No. 7: Joey Bosa/Daron Lee Twist — Ohio Co-Defensive Coordinators Luke Fickel and Chris Ashe

Seeing future first-round pick Joey Bosa stand in a two-point stance just off the line of scrimmage, Ohio State’s third at the 40-yard line after his first CFP in 2014. and on the sixth play probably embarrassed Alabama’s offensive line. season. The Buckeyes had to stop badly at the Sugar Bowl. They led by 6, but Alabama was able to gain momentum with the score.

So Fickel and Asch started Bosa in an unusual location. Then Bosa twisted to the left. Alabama center Ryan Kelly passed Botha back to fullback Jalston Fowler, but Kelly lost his footing in the process. That allowed linebacker Daron Lee, who was twisting behind Botha and heading straight for the middle of Alabama’s offense, to stone quarterback Blake Sims’ run and force a punt. rice field.

After four plays, this happened to the eventual national champion Buckeyes.

No. 6: Shoot field goals instead of kneeling — Georgia head coach Kirby Smart

Making the list of the most criticized calls in CFP history, then-Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley’s squib kick followed by a touchdown* that extended the Sooners’ lead to 31-14 with six seconds left in the first half. includes a selection of of the Rose Bowl against Georgia after the 2017 season.

*On the play that would later be known as the Philly Special, run by the Eagles at the Super Bowl.

The kick never came off the ground and Georgia recovered at the Oklahoma 47-yard line with three seconds remaining. Or maybe Smart had his team kneel if he just wanted Bulldog to lick his wounds.

Instead, Georgia made a play. QB Jake Fromm grabs Terry Godwin for 9 yards. Georgia called a timeout with his one second left and this he sent Rodrigo his blankenship for his goal on the 55-yard field.

Georgia still had a lot to do to win this game in two overtime periods. But that wouldn’t happen if Bulldog instead of trying to use his last three seconds, Locker he decided to head into the room.

No. 5: Call Time Out Before Fake Punts That Work Surely — Kirby Smart

Teams have multiple headset channels, including offensive, defensive, and special team. As Ohio lined up for its fake punt, Georgia’s assistant was talking about a potential fake on the Special Teams channel. “I was on the defensive line because I had just gotten out of the defensive stop,” Smart said. But Smart recognized that Ohio State’s formation was tighter than usual. Something was wrong with him.

“They weren’t in a traditional formation,” Smart said. “A lot of teams do speed breaks. They line up right away. I try, but actually doing it and doing it is another thing, so one of my gut reactions was that I didn’t feel like I was properly prepared to stop it.”

So before Ohio State could snap the ball (and possibly get away with a dozen fake punts), Smart sprinted to referee Darryl Johnson and called for a timeout.

No. 4: Sky Kick to Steal Possession in the National Title Game — Head Coach Nick Saban of Alabama

No one did what Alabama did to the Crimson Tide in 2015 when Clemson and quarterback Deshawn Watson faced off in the first of three national title matches in four seasons. did not go to the defense of

So after Alabama kicker Adam Griffiths scored a 33-yard field goal with 10:34 remaining to tie the game 24-24, Saban decided the defense needed a break. Saban had noticed in footage before the game that Clemson was collecting blockers as he came back to one side of the field at kickoff. When Clemson did the same during an early kickoff during the game, Saban knew he had a weapon in his back pocket.

Alabama was practicing the sky kick (a high onside kick intended to be caught by an Alabama player) that week. The only problem was that cornerback Marlon Humphrey rarely actually caught it.

Humphrey caught it in the game, though. Saban’s smile after the play says it all.

Two plays later, Alabama QB Jake Coker hit tight end OJ Howard for a 51-yard touchdown. The Tide was finally able to come back to life with a 45-40 win.

3rd Place: Orange Crush — Clemson Co-Offensive Coordinators Jeff Scott and Tony Elliott

Elliott was the main play-caller in 2016, but it was Scott who suggested this particular love play near the finish line with the national title at stake. Offensive if he wanted he would call him an interference, but officials didn’t.

Artavis Scott cleared the space against Alabama. Hunter Renflow is now open. Watson delivered the ball.

No. 2: Deep dive in second and 26 — Bryan Daball, offensive coordinator for Alabama

What do you do after your opponent bombs an overtime field goal and a true freshman quarterback takes one of the scariest sacks in sack history? Forget about it, get in line and tell another freshman to throw deep.

That’s exactly what Dabor (now head coach of the New York Giants) did, and Tua Tagovailoa found future Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith defeated Georgia to win the 2017 national title. Did.

1st place: Put the kids in — Saban

Because that pass won’t be thrown unless Saban lifts Jaylen Hurts and blows everyone’s minds by inserting Tagobairoa to start the third quarter.

All of these calls required guts, which cost the most.

(Photo by Kirby Smart: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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