Miami beat South Florida 6-3 Saturday on a 36-yard field goal from Jake Wieclaw as time expired in Tampa. What was strange about the field goal is what transpired prior to Wieclaw’s attempt.
Typically opposing coaches will call a timeout to try and “ice” the kicker. You know, they’ll freeze time and make the kicker think for a few minutes about having the game in his hands. The hope is that the kicker lets the pressure get to him, and then he shanks the attempt.
Well Miami coach Al Golden used some sort of reverse psychology.
As LBS contributor Aaron pointed out to us, Golden had his team surround Wieclaw and jump around him wildly during each of South Florida’s timeouts. The scene on Miami’s sideline was similar to what happens pregame when teams try to pump themselves up. The tactic worked, and Wieclaw nailed the field goal to win the game.
Here is a video of the winning kick, and it includes both timeouts where Miami mobbed Wieclaw to keep him loose:
Golden explained after the game that he knew South Florida coach Skip Holtz was going to use his timeouts, so he encouraged his team to mob Wieclaw to distract him. It’s actually something the Hurricanes have practiced.
“We were just trying to keep him loose,” Golden said. “Every Thursday … we try to do what we call pressure kicks, and we’re constantly making noise and jumping around, and I knew they were going to start calling timeouts, so I said, ‘Hey, pressure kicks.’ And the whole team knew what I was talking about, so we just had some fun, and he relaxed and went up there and made a great swing at it.”
Wieclaw agreed that the behavior was routine.
“We kind of go over pressure situations every week in practice,” he said. “So it’s something I’m fairly used to.”
Maybe it’s that type of unconventional attitude that has helped Al Golden become so successful at a young age. He remind us of another coach in Florida who takes unorthodox approaches and sees excellent results. Maybe this is a strategy more teams should adopt.
Thanks to LBS contributor Aaron for the video and story.Google+