Is a Turnover Hangover the Biggest Threat to Prosperity in 2014?

Annually, Phil Steele tries to winnow down the list of teams who could be considered contenders for a national championship by looking at the statistical profile of past participants in the title game the season before they got to the big game.  If a team doesn't measure up to the minimum standard in each statistical category, then they are eliminated.  Perhaps not surprisingly, Nebraska was eliminated on the basis of its turnover margin in 2013.  Turnovers have been a concern in almost every season under head coach Bo Pelini, so to suggest there's a carryover does not seem far fetched.  Using Nebraska's stats since 1993 reveals a few things.

 

Statistics from 1993 onwards were used but there was a slight change within that data set.  Bowl games were not included in final statistics prior to 2002.  There are some interesting findings:

The regular season turnover margin was positive in every season from 1993-2001.  That's a span where Nebraska played for five national championships and missed on playing for a couple more by just a hair.  Some of the best seasons Nebraska had in terms of wins were just 1 to 3 turnovers in positive territory though with the best in that span at +13 in 1995.

The 2003 season is a huge outlier.  This becomes important later, but Nebraska was at +23 that year (where the team went 10-3) after being -3 the year before (a 7-7 season) and -12 the year after (5-6).  Mathematically, this really undermines the idea of carryover from one year to the next, though those numbers were amassed with three different defensive coordinators.

Bill Callahan's teams never had a season with a positive turnover margin.  There have been all kinds of reasons offered for why things fell apart for Callahan, but on the field turnovers played a huge role.  The -17 margin in 2007 was ultimately his undoing and the worst for Nebraska in the two decades examined.

Bo Pelini's only had one season with a positive turnover margin.  That was the 2009 season and it was the one where his season ending remark, "Nebraska's back and we're here to stay" rang true.  

The turnover margin in one season was a poor predictor of the margin in the next season.  Beyond the previously mentioned outlier, even if you look at just 2004 onward there's basically zero variance explained by the prior season's number.

The direction of the turnover margin was a much better predictor of next season's direction.  If you ignore the number of turnovers and just give assign a +1 for a positive margin, a -1 for a negative margin and a zero for the one season (2006) that was even, we can explain 18% of the variance in the direction of the turnover margin if we know what  happened the year before.  This is probably the product of how streaky Nebraska's been in this department with a lot of consecutive years in positive territory and a lot of consecutive years in negative territory.

The turnover margin is a good predictor of the winning percentage in the same season.  A third of the variance in winning percentage could be explained simply by knowing the turnover margin.  Some of the bigger outliers in this department came under Pelini where the team was -11 in 2008 but still won 9 games and was -12 in 2012 and still won 10.    

The direction of the turnover margin is an even better predictor in the same season.  Well over half (nearly 59% of the variance) in win percentage over that span could be explained by whether a team had a positive, neutral, or negative turnover margin that year.  

The results both agree with Phil Steele and disagree.  Given that Nebraska had a negative turnover margin a year ago, that appears to be the likeliest outcome for this season as well.  From what Tommy Armstrong has shown on the field, that could be an understatement.  However, the -9 number that Ohio State had in 2005 wouldn't seem all that different from Nebraska's -11 a year ago, based on this admittedly limited analysis.  In other words, you probably wouldn't change your opinion of NU's prospects for this season if Armstrong had managed to avoid throwing 2 of the interceptions he had at Purdue.  

Assuming that Nebraska would have to win their conference in order to play for the national championship, a positive turnover margin would seem like a prerequisite for winning the Big Ten as well.  Every time that NU won their conference in the 1990's, they did it by getting more turnovers from their defense than the offense surrendered.  The near miss in 2009 was the last team to stay in positive territory.  Bill Callahan's one team that wasn't negative in turnover margin played in the conference championship game.  

It might not be fair to say that everything is riding on turnover margin for the Huskers, but it's clearly important.  Florida State finished third nationally in the category on their way to a title last season.  The Huskers would do well to follow their example.  
 

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Comments 70 comments so far

Turnover margin rate is THE most important factor for NU this season - period!!!  Without huge improvement for the team, you can kiss goodbye the kind of season NU fans want and deserve.

Tom Osborne’s first 6 seasons had 195 turnovers.

Bo Pelini’s had 157.

Perspective is what everyone needs:
http://www.cornnation.com/2013/12/17/5219920/history-and-perspective-for-the-husker-fan

Here’s a correlation I’d like to see…

If we fumble in the first half, do we throw INTs the 2nd half trying to play catch up?

What is the fumble rate per rushing attempt versus the INT rate per pass attempt?  Note that this ignores the QB fumbling the ball when stepping back to throw.

Mr. dkDevine ~ the turn over margin rate includes fumbles lost and gained, interceptions lost and gained for both teams, not just when NU loses the ball.  It works both ways.  Your one-side article only deals with one side of the equation.  We are talking about having a negative or positive marginal turnover rate involving both NU and its opponents.  So your corn nation article is useless when discussing marginal turnove rate.

dk

It would also be interesting to see where those 6 Osborne teams stacked up nationally. Was that above or below the nat’l average? Is the average turnover margin higher or lower today than 40 years ago - or are they the same?

Divinity keeps pitchin’ his ‘White Corn Nation of Racists’ attempt at ‘fan journalism’—written about 6 months ago and nearly good enough for me to ‘poop on’...discussed already several times here in the interim as this age old subject gets recycled yet one mo’ tyme.  Its ok, though, with repetition those among us who are hard-of-thinking(I wont specify as to whom at this time) might ‘get it’, and one hopes soon sosin’ we dont have to keep yappin’ ‘bout this same ol’ .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

As the Sheik said, ‘bin der, din dat’,

Personally, I dont appreciate it.

I keed i keed, no, i dont keed :(  .

Well, maybe i keed….

Anyway, I much prefer apple turnovers to fuhball turnovers, often w/o exception.  It is conceivable though, given a GREAT defense, that one can ‘punt to win’, since said D usually scores points by they own bad selves.  Under such circumstances, one can also conceive of ‘turnover to win’.  Of course, B78’s fav h.s. team nvr punts or kicks off, so they got it all bass akwards and such, no telling how the intentional turnover strategery might effect a team like that.

Perhaps we can make a flow chart.

But no, no, under MOST circumstances one should AVOID TOs at all costs since, if nothing else, it tends to make all parties involved rather ‘cranky’.  And, normally TO margin combined with Scoring Defense are your most coveted stats—the ones you want to keep ‘good’, that is, if you’re not ‘throwing’ the game.  But in that case, as a player, you dont make as much money.

One of Sete’s Sooner dogg teams in the days of yore, Watts/Washington, or some sh@t, used to chase el ballo around on the turf more than held on and ran, and it made Barry real shakey and bitin’ his fingy nails and head’s a boilin’.  BUT, they overcame that somehow w talents and stuff and still won alot of games.

In conclusion, I predict if Brasky does like they done the last 2 yrs in this category, theys gonna be how shall I say…..‘F@cked’.

Any more questions?

@Realista,

All of what you talk about is in the article.  You should try reading it instead of dismissing it.

@Dogg,

TL;DR Try making a point instead of rambling along like you have alzheimers.

The real question is, how do we stop fumbling, throwing interceptions, and cause more of same? Other teams do it…what the hell’s wrong with the way we coach? It isn’t anything else, unless someone has another reason for it. It’s either coaching or lack of it. Is everyone else doing some kind of drills or something we’re not aware of? It has to be something. 5 out of 6 years with a negative turnover margin? That’s too much data to be coincidental.
Put the crack pipe down trump puppy. Walk away…just walk away…

@Gage

Back then, there were far less teams to rank and thus a 9-3 team could be in the top 10 because there were fewer major conferences.  Can you imagine a 3 loss team being ranked in the top 10 now?

Different times.  Different rankings.  Different conference alignments.

Anyway, I can’t correlate those things with stats unfortunately…

dk,

I’m just wondering if the 195 turnovers was normal for the time, below average or above. Do you have stats to try and figure that or is it impossible or too difficult? I wasn’t living here at the time to know if people were complaining about it or not but I imagine they were because no doubt it was worse than his predecesor who he was being compared too.

BOP’s problem now is that his stats have to be compaired to his peers.

Divinity,

The big difference between you and me is that I dont have to try to sell my writin’, yet da peeps cant help but readin’ what I have to say, EVEN, and especially after they have told me repeatedly and under no uncertain terms that they think I ‘suck’.

Some cornsider me an icon, nay, Legend on Husker blogs.  But now I’m just in the West division, haha, see what I did there?

Pethaps you might consider investing in an online literary/rhetoric course.  Just a thought.

Think about it.

I made several points in my previous missive, perhaps a reread is in order.

Not unusual for a 2 loss team to be top 10:  LSU dunnit a few times.

Yo Divinity,

Realistinha said your fancy pants article is ‘useless’.  You gonna take that, dogg?

D,

It’s ‘far fewer’, not ‘far less’, the latter being an example of poor grammar.

PE,

Are you absolutely sure thats the ‘real question’?  If so, I gotta hand it to ya’, I never in a million years would have thought to ask that.

They like to use that old scuffed up ball.  Maybe they should try a new ball with the nubs still on it.  Grippier.

@Gage,

With respect to other teams, my article didn’t look into those statistics.

I was just trying to correlate stats to show how perspective is what is really making people pass judgement….and improper perspective at that.


@Dogg,

http://i.imgur.com/rfNy0wW.jpghttp://i.imgur.com/rfNy0wW.jpg</img>

I would reread your posts…but they lack any aim whatsoever because you ramble.  You think you’re being funny or clever…but when one reads your posts, you come off sounding like a massive moron who has no idea how to form thoughts.  It would help if you stopped messing around with your little name calling and got on with the point of your posts.  Please understand, this is constructive criticism…because your posts ramble incoherently without aim.  You can still fix them and add to the conversation instead of subtracting from it with tripe like what you posted.

DK Devine ~ your article does NOT discuss the “marignal tunrover rate”.  It simply discusses NU fumbles and interceptions.  There is a difference, so please do not do knee jerk reactions.  What matters is if a team has a healthy + MTR, rather than a -MTR.  NU had the 108th worst MTR in 2013.  So, your article is meaningless unless you quote the marginal turnover rate for a season and then compare W-L records.

Ding Dong!  Nobody’s home DK.

Yeah, what Realistinha said.

To also beat 5 ranked teams in his first year as head coach.

Ok Divinity,

We’ll put you on the statd crew.  First assignment, should you decide to accept it:  find out the ratio of TOs—in whatever form—to games won or lost.  In particular, we’te looking for the threshold at which the chances of winning a game become greatly diminished.

I suspect that number is 3.

Im talking TOs lost, not TO margin.

Its like with Sparty last year.  We gave them a few gifts early in that one, yet were still hanging ok.  But when that 3rd TO happened late in the 2nd qtr, even though the game was still close, I figured our chances of winning went way down at that point.  Probability.

You just cant give the other team the ball.  If you only have 10 or 12 offensive possessions in a game and give it back to them on 3 or more of them….

http://www.footballstudyhall.com/2013/8/23/4649718/college-football-turnover-margin-winning-percentage

Nebraska #1 over last 4-5 years winning games despite poor TO margin.  Sooners #2.  Good teams can overcome TOs, so if we can get into the + range in TO margin we can probably be an 11-12 win/yr team.

In close games against a quality opponent, TOs indeed are a critical part of the game, you simply cannot win unless you have the football in your possession.  NU has been extremely lucky to win a lot of those games T Dogg and if the clock hadn’t run out after a hail Mary to get a point or two up, we would have lost many of them for certain.  We either get the INT, fumble, TO thing fixed or we’ll be eating left overs at the next bowl game for sure.

@Realista

I never said the article was about the ‘marginal turnover rate’...it discusses PERSPECTIVE of Husker fans and how they have changed.  It uses statistics to show how that perspective has changed.

I guess you flunked out of English class when they asked you to find the theme of a story eh?

@TDogg,

Do it yourself man…if you feel like there is a point there, make it.  BTW, my name is Devine…I’m a Veteran of the Armed Forces are half the people in my family.  I’d appreciate it if you used my name appropriately instead of changing it to stupid shit like Divinity when talking to me.  Thanks.

DK ~ lighten up!  Life is too short to take yourself too seriously.  You didn’t read my comments and apparently comprehend that I referenced from the start, the marginal turnover rate.  You, instead, pick NU’s fumbles and interceptions (a more limited discussion point) to respond.  Therefore, you still don’t get it, or you simply don’t understand.  Either way, compare apples to apples, not apples to naranjas!!! 

Ding Dong!  Nobody’s home again!!!

Thin skinned.  Wont last long ‘round here.

Problem here guys is there are 2 articles being referenced - and getting mixed up, I think - the thread topic - Steve Hanway’s, and the one dkdevine linked in his first post in this thread.  At first I thought dkdevine was so defensive of the article that I thought he was alias for Steve.  Then I actually read his linked article, so now some of this discussion is a bit clearer.

Not that it matters - there’s always something to argue about.  Sometimes we fight over crumbs because we can’t grasp the loaf.

That article I linked pretty much spells it out rgdg TO margin.

T Dogg ~ great article!  It is a wonder NU has won as many games as it has in light of the negative number on marginal turnover rate.  Not exactly a result NU should be proud of.  “You won despite shooting yourself in the foot!”  Amazing!

Here is where I am at—I don’t don’t have a problem with people being upset over the current turnover margin. The Huskers have been terrible in recent years compared to their peers. That is a fact. Comparing recent stats to stats from 40 years ago to try and assuage feelings is missing the point in my opinion.

So if there is a hangover it will definitely affect prosperity.

Realistinha,

Yeah, there are a number of good teams in the hole as to TO margin.  They make up for it by being good.

Cant live by Hail Mary’s forever though, vrry low % play.

Thats why Im saying if we can break even or get + in that stat alone, should give us at least 1-2 games in the W column.

Combine that with a good scoring defense rating and we’re golden.  It could happen.

If nothing else, our ‘14 D should be able to ball hawk better, thus closing the TO margin gap, even if the O still gives it away at the same rate.

However, its unlikely the latter will continue as we’ve been about as bad as it gets in giving the ball away.  Probability is on our side for improvement there—what goes down must come up, sooner or later.  I think it will be sooner.

TDogg~  You are spot on!!!  Can’t agree more.  Now, let’s see if BOP & Co figure that out.  +TO rate this coming season guarantees NU at least 10 wins (without any Hail Mary’s).

Games where we ‘overachieved’ in ‘13 as to TO Margin:
MI- -2
PSU- -1
NW- -3(INTs)
Games where TO Margin bit us:

Sparty- -5(4 fumbles)
IA- -3
MN- -2

So TDogg~ how can BOP and crew help coach the team to a + marginal TO rate this coming season?  Without significant improvement in that regard, we will be having same-o, same-o.

I’m sure they know more about it than I do.

@T-Dogg, They also know way more about coaching than NU Real-not and others of his ilk. By the way, Huskers have had fumble/turnover problems for as long as I have watched UNL football - and that has been a looong time.

My, “inkorea” aren’t we inhospitable!  Again, you, like so many of your “ilk”, can’t distinguish between NU turnovers versus the marginal turnover rate.  Read up before you comment.  Dufus dialogue wastes everybody’s time!  Take your time coming back to the US so you are not “huskeroutofkorea”

Well, I dunno about NU having TO problems ‘forever’.  I dont recall us being near the bottom in giveaways year in year out, decade after decade.  In fact, my main recollection of OZ’s teams is that they took care of the ball pretty well and genetslly were well oiled machines.  But, perhaps raw data back to ‘72 is in order.

Again, its mainly about the margin, that is, if your D takes it back.

One thing I hope the millionaire coaches figure out though—preferrably on their own, w/o fan input—is mandatory tinted eye shields for the return guys on those very sunny days.  The sun should never be an excuse.  Heck, include the WRs while yer at it.

And dont put true freshman back there on punt and kick returns, I dont care how good their hands are.  Its mostly mental and they’re still too green.  Like, you dont put Kamp back deep on our side on a punt vs Sparty, K?  Coaching decisions are as much a part if this.

Well, to clarify, margin is important and should be a + #, but that doesnt mean you can go around giving the ball away 3, 4 per game, because its too disruptive and your D isnt going to ave more than 2 takeaways per game at best.

My 2 favorite turnovers were Suh v. Colorado and Compton v. Georgia.

2008 Suh v. Colorado was a crowd pleasing TO and TD by a real man.  He strives now in the NFL to adjust to the politically correct crowd.  How many men can say they actually intimidate NFL players???  They are a bunch of woosies!

Luv Suh!!!

If by ‘wussy’ you mean they dont like getting their heads ripped off,  or limbs stomped on after the whistle, or kicked in the g-nads, yeah, they are ‘wussies’.  Homey gotta chill.

T Dogg ~ let’s not be naive!!!  I will give you the fact that Suh in the NFL has been too openly aggressive at times and has crossed the line.  Note that he did not apparently display such over aggressiveness while playing at NU.  Why the difference?  Because in the NFL, dirty play is part of the game.  It is simply a matter of how far one takes the aggressive behavior.  Suh may have decided he needed to be the bad boy on the block and took it too far when he entered the NFL.  Whatever the case, men who took the game too far used to be dealt with by other players on the field.

All I can say is, I want Suh on my side of the ball if I am out there.

When Suh was playing for NU the opponents were always untieing his shoes, stomping on any part of him they could get ahold of, and constantly holding, and double teaming him any way they could.  The pros are just a little better at it, and Suh is learning what he can get away with in that style of play….and what he can’t.  Football isn’t exactly a non contact gentlemanly sport like ping pong or croquet, nor would I watch it if it was.

@T-Dogg,
Sorry, did not mean to imply there were fumble/turnover problems every year; just that these problems did not start with Pelini and crew. When I attended UNL back in the 1950’s, they were a problem – among many others. Think Huskers only had a couple of winning seasons that whole decade.

Well, if Suh has to play a little dirty to deal with OLmen, then be smart, do it descretly.  You dont go taking your frustrations out on defenseless QBs with head, groin shits etc. with all the camaras in the stadium on you for everybody in the known universe to see.  Be smart about it.

@ korea,

I have no recollections of anything prior to1959 as I had not yet entered this mortal coil.  It must have been rough being a fan back then.  I’m one of those spoiled fans.

That would be “...groin shots”.  “Groin shits” would be completely unacceptable under any circumstances—I dont care who you are.

DR,

You ever take ping pong ball shot to the groin, delivered @ supersonic speed by an irrate Chinaman with Mao’s Red Army pointing guns to your head?  Or, get blind sided with a croquette mallet by an embittered blue blood, silver haired old short lady with a flimsy wicker hat and too revealing grotesque summer dress?

I didnt think so.  Probably prefer taking one up side the head from Dr. Ducky Suh.

Oh, the horror of sport.

Well Dogg, as a matter of fact I did learn to play croquet with my Grandmo, who was indeed a silver haired old short lady and as gentle a person as you will ever meet on a croquet lawn.  Never hit me, even once with her mallet which had to be no small feat since I was a constant aggravation and took my croquet matches seriously to the point of cut-throat what with knocking every body else’s balls out of play.  Haven’t changed much in all these years neither.  Ping Pong, not so much, but it seems to me to be a much more aggresive game these days than it was ever meant to be.  Football on the other hand is becoming wussified to the point that soccer seems brutal in comparison, guess that’s probably why Soccer is becoming so popular these days, gotta have our blood sports ya’ know.

I dunno, seems like there are more concussions these days in football than evrr, despite all the safety rules.  Or, it could be that back in the day they just let/made guys keep playing regardless.

T Dogg ~ no one is suggesting “low blows” are acceptable, or any other kind of excessive gratuitous violence in football.  However, football, in many ways, reflects life in general and how people are forced to establish their presence in order for others to appreciate boundaries.  Forget about the “rules” in football.  If I am in the trenches duking it out in hand-to-hand combat on the field, over and over again, battling an individual for hours, you can bet your pretty panties you must “piss on that tree” like any animal in the woods will have to do.  This guy hits me after the play stops.  Guess what?  I’ll hit him back, only harder.  That is the nature of the game under the circumstances it is played.  If you aren’t aggressive, and sometimes to excess, you are toast on the field.  Period.

@NU,
You seem to ignore the very obvious downside, noted over and over by sportscasters, sportswriters and others that inevitably it is the one hitting back that is seen and flagged by the refs. In many cases this stalls a drive and gives the ball back to the other team. In the worst case scenario, it may end a comeback attempt and result in losing the game.

@korea ~ I don’t disagree with your point.  However, that was not my point.  I was suggesting that violence to excess on the field of football is not a surprise nor should it be unexpected.  If I am a player and I need to make a point with another player, I may likely do ‘whatever’, fully expecting that a penalty will be called as a result.  A sport as violent as NFL football is, and as threatening as it is to players, does include the element of survival of the fittest.  Asking for measured emotional responses in a football setting is difficult to achieve.  Men like Suh, while he has crossed the line on ocassion, should not be faulted because he was too mean, or too bad ass of a guy on the field.  We invite violence on the field, then tell these men to hold back.  Remember Sherman at the end of the Super Bowl.  He was jacked up and pumped up.  I don’t fault him for anything he said during that interview.

Do your dirty work like a ninja, from the shadows, in a pile of bodies, not out in broad daylight on a defenseless QB, thats just stupid.

Gladiator:  “Are you not entertained!”

I have watched the video of Suh so many times and to find the right video is hard to come by, usually says blocked by third party or expired.  I have seen where the guy blocking him is blown out and beaten badly and as he is falling he grabs Suh’s jersey and pulls him down, this is where most videos take over.  Plain and simple holding call but again against him not called.  As he goes down his head is at the turf, unless he has “bug eyes” there is no way he knows exactly where he is kicking him.  I am sure he swung his leg to make contact which would be a penalty, but to be precise enough to kick him in the groin I am not buying that.  And why isn’t Schaub wearing a cup?  I think there is more play acting by him, than actual pain.  I have seen many catchers catch a foul tip from a 90 mph baseball in the groin that show less emotions then Matt did on that play. Suh is a marked man, deservedly so for the stomp on the arm, but he is held, low blocked, and people are trying to take him out on almost every play.  And I agree with the fact if he was a free agent all these players complaining abut him would love to have him on their team.  Off the field he is a model player, but he has that switch that turns on in games and if you “f” with him he is going to “f” with you.  He just happens to have all eyes on him.

On the fumbles, this to me is a psychological problem.  The more emphasis that is put on it the more the kids think about not fumbling rather than doing what they have been taught to do for years and years “hold it high and tight”.  I can’t imagine any coach not going through the drills to do this and this would be Ron Brown’s job, maybe Bo needs to fire him?  Funny how nobody mentions him for this.  It is like putting in golf “don’t leave it short and it always ends up short or 4 ft past the hole.  Free throws in basketball, miss a couple and you start thinking of where your feet are at or where is your elbow or are you bending your wrist and following through.  Maybe it is needed to bring in a sports psychologist to help with this.

larr ~ you are right on point on both subjects.

I watched rerun of MS v. NU 2013.  First series, NU threw a pitch to Newbie and he fumbles.  Second series, NU throws an interception on a short pass.  Guess what MS did?  They basically ran the ball during their first two series.  The announcers were critical of NU for not keeping Abullah in the game on every play in order to set the tone.  Ab ran for 10 yards and 8 yards on two carries during those first two series.  If NU pulls this same Tim Beck crap this fall in the early stages of the game, BOP should be taking his kitty cat and leave the stadium.  NU was inviting trouble during those first two series of plays against MS. 

Play to your strengths, keep it simple stupid, and remember that game time is not the same as practice time.  Whole different set of pressure points existing on Saturdays for the players.

Most coaches have the first 15 plays or so scripted to what they want to see what the defense does.  So if they ran that play 30 times in practice and Newbie doesn’t fumble, why would the coaches think he would in the game.  You don’t know what a player will do until you give him the opportunity to try.  Had that play went for a TD people would be talking about how great of a call it was, how they caught them off guard for that play.  At what point do you allow a player to have an opportunity, and why is everything that goes wrong totally the coaches fault all the time.  This kid is a 4 star recruit by some so what do you all want, get the 4 & 5 star recruits that will make an immediate impact and when they do something wrong it is the coaches fault for not developing them yet you want them in the games because they are game changers.  I am confused

I think learning how to carry a football so as not to fumble is a fundamental of the game.  I’ve observed a ton of fumbles that were caused by players holding onto the football with only one hand when they were tackled.  I have a number of films from NU’s National Champ games and the one thing that was obvious is that NU ball carriers nearly always had the football wrapped up with both arms and held tightly against the body, especially the Full backs, sure, they were a little less mobile, but when they gained a yard, they kept it.

DennisR, yea that is a fundamental thing that is instilled in these guys since they were in jr high not something they learn in college.  As far as in the 90’s the running backs carrying the ball with both hands, don’t think so maybe the full backs but not the I backs.  And if all we get is a yard and keep the ball, 3 and out and punt.  These guys need that other hand for balance, to stiff arm, can’t run far and fast with both hands on the ball.  These fumbles are nothing more than lack of concentration, or thinking about it to much (imo)

Think you are right about backs in the ‘90’s usually carrying the ball with one hand/arm. My all-time favorite play by my all-time favorite player – Tommie Frazier running through most of the Florida team on his 75 yard touchdown run in 1996 Fiesta Bowl. Think he only had one hand on the ball at all times during that run – used the other to push the Florida players out of his way.

larr ~ practice does not even come close to game conditions for players (and apparently coaches!).  Stress and nerves make game day more prone to errors than practice sessions.  After players settle down and get knocked around, the chances of errors due to player nerves decreases.

I am sorry, but MS had it right and NU wrong in the 1st Q.  PLUS, the announcers were correct.  Why not keep Abdullah in the game to help establish the right tone with a team leader on the field and present.  Instead, NU yanks him out and puts in Newbie.  Give me a break!!!

So coach NU when do you give the guy the opportunity to play? Maybe after AA gets hurt, I get what your saying and it is easy for us to second guess after the fact.  Like I said had that went for a TD than everyone would be saying what a great call it was to catch them off guard.  It didn’t and now we move on, why in the hell did we go for two when a tie would have given us another National title, the coach felt confident in the play and went with it.  And yes the practices are not game time but the kid must have performed to where they felt it would work.  And when does a player get to settle down and knocked around when he is on the bench.  You run your 15 or so script plays in practice to get the guys familiar with the plays so they aren’t as nervous.  Besides he is a high 4* or low 5* guy should be able to handle the pressure according to the “experts”.  Give me a break!!!!!

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