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Nov 8, 2018
8:51:27am
Iron Coug All-American
A "mistake" in sports is a misnomer. A "mistake" is an accident that can never
be right. For example, it is a mistake when the waiter at the restaurant enters chicken when I ordered steak. But in football, calls are evaluated based on results.

For example, if Wilson had scored on the final play, would anyone say that was the wrong call? The coaches would get the benefit of the doubt. Everyone would assume that the coaches knew something we did not based on their analysis of BSU's defense. No one would say that a max protect RPO was wrong. If you expect an all out blitz, the play call was fantastic. BYU guessed wrong. Guessing wrong is not a mistake. Also, we do not know how that play was suppose to develop because we had two interior Olinemen get worked leading to instant pressure. Is that on the coaches? Partially I guess, but at the end of the day, players have to make plays. Again, was the call wrong or a mistake? That is impossible to say.

Some of your other examples could also be a coach falling on the sword for his players. A fake punt from your own endzone on fourth and forever may be one of the worst calls ever made. That being said, I do not believe anyone explicitly called a fake punt. BYU saw a weakness in the punt coverage and thought the kicker could exploit. Leading up to the game, the kicker was told, if you see this look, don't be afraid to pull it and run. The kicker made a horrible read in a horrible situation. I imagine too that the rest of the team was shocked when the Kicker pulled the ball and were probably a few tenths of a second slow in reacting to this stupid decision. Was this a mistake? Would we call it a mistake if he ran for a touchdown?

A guess it would be a mistake if the coach left the offense on the field to play defense, or the coach told the team to tackle the ref. But I have not seen this kind of coaching. My point is, when evaluating decisions within the rubric of results, a mistake is very hard to see.
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