Inside the Pac-12

January 1, 2010 8:45 PM

Chip Kelly Makes a Costly Mistake in Rose Bowl

chip kelly.jpgOhio State defeated Oregon 26-17 in a tightly contested Rose Bowl. The Terrelle Pryor that was highly touted coming out of high school finally showed up in a big game. Oregon felt that Pryor couldn't beat them with his arm, but Terrelle had a big game through the air. Pryor completed 23/37 for 266 yards and 2 TD's. Pryor also had 20 carries for 72 yards. Jeremiah Masoli the QB that should have been a problem running and throwing the ball was held in check by the Buckeye defense. Masoli passed for 89 yards and only ran for 9 yards. Ohio State came up big on third downs holding the Ducks to 2/11 on third down conversions.

In most close games certain decisions that a coach makes will factor in to what team wins the game and this game was no different. Kelly did not trust his K Morgan Flint to make field goals from certain distances. In the 2nd quarter on 4th 9 from the 29 Kelly elected to go for it and Masoli completed a 10-yard pass to Jeff Maehl for a first down. Oregon got a TD on that drive and tied the game 10-10. In the third quarter on 4th and 3 from the 27 Kelly went for it on 4th down again and Masoli completed a pass for 7 yards to Lavasier Tuinei. Oregon ended that drive with a TD and took a 17-16 lead. The Ducks finished the game 2/2 on 4th down. Down 26-17 with less than 6 minutes left in the game with a 4th and 1 from the 27 Kelly decided to kick a field goal. That was a horrible decision by Kelly. After the missed field goal Ohio State was able to run out the remaining 5:10 off the clock. If Kelly didn't trust Flint to kick from the 27 in the 3rd quarter why would he be comfortable with Flint kicking from the 27 in the 4th quarter? In that situation with the game on the line and knowing that you are 2/2 on previous 4th down attempts Kelly should have went for it.

The Ohio State defense was the difference in this game. Oregon was held to 260 total yards and the Ducks could not sustain drives. The Buckeyes won time of possession 41:37 to 18:23. The Ducks two stars Masoli and James were shut down, because they did not get enough opportunities on offense. The Ducks defense was on the field for the majority of the game, but they did a good job keeping their team in the game by forcing Ohio State to kick 4 field goals. Oregon's loss to Ohio State dropped the Pac Ten to 2-5 in the post-season.

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