Monday, October 25, 2010

Upon further review

One of the advantages of three straight Yale games being televised by YES is I can go back and look at specific plays or in this case calls by the officials.

There were four I was curious to see.

At first glance I thought offensive pass interference should have been called on a screen pass from Ryan Becker to Jeff Jack resulting in a 17-yard Penn touchdown in the second quarter. But the replay showed that the other receiver waited until Jack caught the ball before throwing his block.

I mentioned the questionable spot on Adam Money's interception return and believed it cost Yale 10 yards. I stand by that statement after seeing the flag for an illegal block on the 33 yard line. If Yale was penalized from that spot and then the 15 yards were marked off for Penn's personal-foul penalty, the Bulldogs should have received the ball at the 28 instead of the 38.

I wasn't sure about the pass interference called on Yale's first scoring drive of the fourth quarter. The only issue was that the official called out No. 2 as the party responsible for the pass interference when it was evident that it was No. 37 Jim McGoldrick guilty of practically undressing Yale's Jordan Forney and forcing him out of bounds while the ball was in the air.

Now for the holding call on Alex Golubiewski late in the first half which negated a 33-yard completion to the Penn 2, the replay was inconclusive. You could see Golubiewski turning Brandon Copeland but couldn't tell if Golubiewski's hands were outside Copeland's shoulder pads or if he did anything after the final portion of his block was not visible on camera.

That being said, the officiating did not decide this game. Three turnovers, costly penalties and giving up a punt return touchdown had a bigger impact on the game's outcome rather than any one official's call. Inconsistency on first down didn't help. Nine times Yale had a double-digit gain on first down but 12 times out of the 32 first down plays the first-down play went for either no gain or negative yardage.

Also, if you count the two sacks as passing plays (as they were obviously designed to be) instead of running plays as they go down as, Yale threw or attempted to throw the ball 56 times on 74 offensive plays. Considering that quarterback Patrick Witt missed the previous game with a shoulder injury and has dealt with hand and wrist injuries, it's amazing he was able to walk off the field under his own power. A power back like Mordecai Cargill (who missed the game after undergoing knee surgery) could have made a difference in establishing the run. But he's going to miss at least one more game. Yale ran the ball on half of its first 12 offensive plays and had eight designed rushing attempts by the end of the first quarter but 10 for the rest of the game. Nobody expected Yale to attempt to shove the ball down the throats of a Penn defense coming into the game ranked first in FCS in rushing defense but when the opponent doesn't have to respect the run, you might as well put a target on Witt's jersey.

Back on the topic of Money, here's the story I wrote on the senior safety

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