Running up the Score?!?!
I know I am going to get a lot of people out there with a lot of different opinions, which is great and what we really want. I don't think I have ever really been one way or the other on this. I switched on New Year's Day. Take your home team to make you switch your mind.
After dancing the night away, with Brandon Weeden (yes, there is a little bit of truth in that), and sleeping in a bit on New Years, we woke up to watch the OSU/Purdue game. I know what you were thinking, "Why not go to freezing cold Dallas at 8 am to watch your team play a middle of the pack Big10 team." Well, you answered your own question my friend. And 2 quarters into it I was glad we did not. With 28-0 at half, and Purdue looking like they were still celebrating New Year's with Kathy Griffin, you knew the game was probably over. As the second half started, the game kept going along like it had been. We slowly started to put in our second/third stringers, having them play. The announcers, who I did not know, but I think one was a kicker from the MEAC and the other a sports editor for the Billings Gazette, started ripping OSU, saying that we should not be running up the score. That we should slow it down and just let the game play out. So here are my thoughts:
As a coach, how do you tell your players, albeit 2nd/3rd string, who having been busting their tails all year, and who have continually been told "Play as hard as you can until the whistle," to lay down and take it easy. In the third quarter, we were running our offense. The offense that Purdue has been studying film on, and they could not stop us. Is a team not supposed to run their offense? Are you asking a player to take a knee with 5:10 left in the 3rd quarter? How do you sign that play in?
As a player, you want to get out on that field and play your heart out. You have worked all season, all year, most of your life, to give 100% on the field, and if told not to do that, then you feel slighted. You did not pick this opponent, you just know you need to go out there and play.
As an opponent, put yourself in this situation. It is the third quarter, you are down by 4 touchdowns. Your QB just threw a pick, and you are lining up across from a receiver. As the center snaps the ball, you see him fall back and take a knee. Or let's say he hands the ball off 7 times in a row. Or let's say you see him over throw a receiver, laugh about it and say, "Coach told me to take it easy on them." If you are a true-blooded American male, that would piss you off and make you think less of them.
Stick with the run. Well, what if they can't stop the run. Or the pass. Or special teams, do you want them to toss the ball to the defense and say, "Here ya go, give it a try."