State certainly played well enough today to have a chance at the end, but poor execution and even poorer coaching in the red zone ended with State falling to 4-4 (0-4).
Two fourth quarter series where the poor execution and even poorer coaching stand out:
First, down 20-9, State had 2nd and 1 at the Louisville two yard line, and then after a Louisville penalty gave State 1st and goal from the one, State had to settle for a 25 yard field goal after a sack and two incomplete passes.
Then, after having already burned its first timeout before a punt after opening the second half with a three-and-out, with under six minutes to play, down 20-12 and Louisville facing 3rd and 17 in field goal range at the State 28, Doeren called back-to-back timeouts before the third down play. State forced Louisville to kick and the 45-yard field goal made it 23-12.
After that, State marched right down field and scored, but the inexplicable misuse of timeouts meant that with 2:21 and no timeouts, State had no choice but to try an onside kick, which failed. On 3rd and 12, Louisville scored on a 46-yard TD run and the game was over.
Somewhere Les Miles was shaking his head at that timeout management.
Dave Doeren is now 0-12 in league play and State has a much-needed bye week before it’s November 1 trip to Syracuse.
I think we all need the break.
Box Score (ESPN)