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#pounditMonday, July 15, 2024

Gus Johnson draws attention for criticism of ‘analytics’

Gus Johnson with a headset on

Gus Johnson drew attention on Saturday for his criticism of analytics while calling the TCU-Texas Tech game.

TCU beat Texas Tech 34-24 to remain undefeated. The Red Raiders led 17-13 late in the third quarter, though they fell behind 20-17 after allowing a touchdown in the fourth.

The game turned soon after that.

The Red Raiders had a 4th-and-2 at their 36 with 12 minutes left to go in the game. Rather than punt to the Horned Frogs, Texas Tech went for it and got stopped. Not only were they stopped, but they gave TCU a short field. Three plays later, the Horned Frogs scored a touchdown to make it a 2-possession game.

Johnson, who was announcing the game for FOX, couldn’t believe that Joey McGuire had gone for it and let the game turn so much.

“Ray Guy just passed this week, folks. Greatest punter in the history of football. And I know he’s in heaven saying, ‘what the heck is going on with the Red Raiders?’ Kick it!” Johnson said.

“Analytics! Throw them in the garbage!” Johnson added.

A similar situation arose next. Texas Tech got to its 45 and went for it on a 4th-and-4. They got stopped, giving TCU favorable field position again. The Horned Frogs once again scored to put the game out of reach at 34-17.

Johnson attributed McGuire’s decision to go for it to “analytics.”

“A bunch of guys that didn’t play are telling people that play and coaches that coach what to call, and they’re using it!” Johnson said.

The game seemed to turn on the 4th-and-2 stop by TCU that led to a touchdown, which explains why Johnson was incredulous.

Whether or not Johnson’s catch-all scapegoat of “analytics” were to blame is a good question. But Johnson seemed right that Texas Tech put the game on the line much earlier than they needed to.

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