Carl Pelini bucks convention, calls for spike on fourth down

Joel Auerbach

The 4th-down spike represents the boldest new wave of college football thinking in decades.

If you merely looked at the box scores, you'd see a 34-6 Miami victory over lowly Florida Atlantic and probably think it was a cakewalk for the 'Canes (a Cane-walk, if you will), devoid of any late-game drama. Oh, how wrong you'd be.

Here's Florida Atlantic trying to mount a late charge as the last seconds tick down on the game, hoping for one trip to the end zone to at least say they scored a touchdown on mighty Miami.

...and there's head coach Carl Pelini instructing his quarterback to spike the ball on fourth down, and his quarterback dutifully doing exactly that.


Now, you may look at that play and think it's one of the silliest, most dunderheaded moves you'll see by a coach this season. We disagree. Head coaches have much too much on the line to lose track of the game situation so completely. Head coaches always know what they're doing. Thus, it stands to reason that Carl Pelini did this on purpose. Pepper Brooks, any analysis to offer?

Carl Pelini is jazz. He makes it about the plays he doesn't call.

Carl Pelini is hip-hop. He calls the shots, and he'll make sure you know it.

Carl Pelini is punk. He takes your norms and conventions and spits on them, just to prove he can.

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