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Mike Yurcich, Mason Rudolph Explain Double Pass with Jalen McCleskey



It’s a play that will be talked about all season, and it likely frames Mike Yurcich however you want him to be framed. If you like him, it proves his shoot-from-the-hip, anti-Gundy attitude. If you don’t like him, it proves that he has no idea what he’s doing.

I’m of course talking about the failed double pass from Mason Rudolph to Jalen McCleskey to Dillon Stoner (which landed in the hands of Nick Orr) which Oklahoma State ran with just over 5 minutes left against TCU on Saturday. The Pokes were driving to get within one score of the Frogs, and they’d just gone 44 yards in 79 seconds.

Then … this.

“You can think about those things forever,” said Gundy after the game. “We were on a pretty long drive. They’re tired. You can probably get them out of rhythm and get a cheap score. The other thing we were thinking is we needed to score fast at that time. The clock was working against us. I thought Mike (Yurcich) and them were pretty patient for being as far behind as we were.

“I thought they did a nice  job of not panicking. But you still have to try to score because the odds are against you when the clock is working against you. Do I wish I had it back now? Sure. If the kid who intercepted it would have bit on the run, we’re in the end zone and we’re in a whole different ballgame.”

This is true. It’s an all-or-nothing call. Except, when you call it, you think the “nothing” is Jalen McCleskey throwing it into the 17th row.

“I thought it was a great call,” said Mason Rudolph. “A lot of times people are getting tired. It’s a tempo situation going into our score zone. I thought we were going to get them to bite on that. Jalen will throw that away 9 times out of 10. He was just trying to make a play. I thought it was a good call in that situation.”

The goodness or badness of a play call should not be predicated on the eventual outcome. This is called Outcome Bias. Of course 99 percent of OSU fans now say it was a stupid call, but I bet if you surveyed the same people in the split seconds before the play was called, the results would be a lot different.

“We set it up before through our previous three games where we flip it out there and we get a few yards and they block,” said Mike Yurcich. “That’s a play we worked on all week, and wanted to try to get a quick score there and get the ball back. Thought that call would work. Would have sat on it if I had known in retrospect. Thought they’d bite there. Thought at the time that was a good call. Obviously it wasn’t.”

It might have been a bad call, but the INT doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the case.

I’m still on the fence on this one. I like the aggressiveness, and I think McCleskey should have chunked it into the stands, but it’s tough to watch the entire season taken out of your best player’s hands.

Regardless, OSU went for it, and it failed. That’s far better than the alternative, keeping the dice in your hand and always wondering “what if …”

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