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For the Ages

Let's recap the day's events:

Red Sox 11, Cardinals 9 (World Series, gm 1)
Iowa 6, Penn State 4 (Big Ten football)

Ummm...yeah. It's actually pretty tough to score 4 points in a football game. It's impossible to score just 1 point, but after that, I'd guess that 4 is the next most unlikely. The only way to do it is 2 safeties, one of which is rare enough that it hadn't happened in almost 3 years to Penn State (Iowa did it that time, too, I think.). And yet, for all the offensive futility, it was kind of a fun game to watch--lots of big defensive plays, and I mean that in a non-Manny way. Well, except for that first long snap to the punter that almost split the uprights--that was pretty comical.

"It was a pretty obvious decision," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. "Typically, if you punt off your own 1-yard line, it's almost a guaranteed three for the other team. And this type of game, I sure as heck didn't want to give them three easy ones. Just take the safety and ride our defense."

It didn't make a lot of sense to Pam Ward at the time, that difference between "three easy ones" and "two easy ones," but heck, they won. Even though the Sawx outscored both teams combined.


I've been trying to puzzle out how the "free safety" decision makes sense because I've seen other coaches make that call. In part, it's probably based on teh concern that the punt might get blocked in the end zone, creating the possibility that PSU could score an easy TD. But I nearly laughed out loud when I saw that final score.

Then I saw Purdue lost to Michigan and I wasn't very happy anymore.

From Iowa's perspective, the first safety came bc their special teams basically stink, and the second bc they didn't want to give PSU a short field, which would have been almost inevitable. Given the way both teams were playing, it actually made some sense.

And I was actually pulling for Purdue this week, too. When Iowa's no longer in the running, at least I can root against Michigan and OSU...