The comments that follow are related to the atrocious clock management at the end of the first half of yesterday’s loss at Florida State. As WV Wolf highlighted in comments:
- Donald Bowens gets tackled with about 30 seconds left in the half.
- Russell Wilson gets the play from the sideline at 22 seconds.
- Ball is snapped at 17 seconds.
- Penalty, clock is stopped at 13 seconds.
- Clock starts, TOB has his arms crossed, hands on his shoulders, finally calls time out at 9 seconds.
- Wilson’s timeout at 7 seconds gets whistled.
NC State had the ball at the FSU 38 yard line with 30 seconds and 3 timeouts left and could not manage to run another play until 7 seconds remained on the clock.
Note: The following was in the print version of the N&O today.
Missed Opportunity: O’Brien said he should have called a timeout as the clock ran following an illegal shift penalty at the FSU 38 yard line in the closing seconds of the first half. He estimated that NC State lost about seven seconds.
“I should have taken the timeout right then. I was talking to [offensive coordinator Dana Bible] about where we were going.”
NC State might have saved time by using a timeout even earlier, after an 8 yard completion to Donald Bowens with about 27 seconds remaining in the half that preceded the illegal shift call. The Wolfpack used just one of its first half timeouts.
Nonetheless, O’Brien said Wilson still could have passed to Tony Baker in time for a gain that would have put the Wolfpack in range for a final-play field goal attempt. Wilson threw an interception down the field on the final play of the half instead.
The only reason that people aren’t talking more about the poor clock management at the end of the game is because of just how bad things were at the end of the first half.
For some reason the Wolfpack chose to burn their second time out of the half after a critical first down on their final drive. Simply getting to the line of scrimmage and spiking the ball would have taken just 1 or 2 extra seconds off the clock but would have saved the Wolfpack a very important time out.
Of course, of the Wolfpack’s cause wasn’t helped very much by a Doak-Campbell clock that seemed to run with a mind of its own. Valuable seconds consistently evaporated after officials whistles on almost every play…and the Wolfpack appeared to lose between five and ten seconds when the clock prematurely started before the chains were set after a Wolfpack first down – an observation that even the poor Raycom announcers noticed.