Photo: Getty Images/Leon Halip
San Diego State head football coach Rocky Long is strongly considering an unorthodox strategy, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune (via SB Nation).Long is thinking of going for it on fourth down every time his SDSU Aztecs cross the opponent’s 50 yard line, instead of opting for a field goal or punting it away.
He’s been thinking about such a drastic change in play-calling after reading up on how wildly successful Arkansas high school coach Kevin Kelley has been by never punting and always attempting onside kicks.
“It makes sense. Additional plays would allow you to score a lot more points. It also puts a whole lot of pressure on the defence.”
And before you jump to the typical “this guy is nuts” conclusion, consider that multiple statistical studies show a team is better off going for it on fourth down than punting it away.
The other reason why this might be advantageous is that no one else is doing it and your opponent would be severely thrown off, Long says.
“It’s fourth-and-seven — most defenses run off the field. And now they’re going to stay out there. ‘What? How come the punt team isn’t coming out?’ ”
Long says he hasn’t decided whether he’ll actually institute this radical idea, calling it a “day-to-day theory.”
Either way, it’s encouraging to see a coach think so outside the box. Such a change would quickly make the Aztecs one of the more exciting teams to watch not just in the Mountain West Conference, but the entire country.
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