Cal Football: Petersen Query -- Should Washington Have Let Cal Score at the End?

Jake Curtis

Washington coach Chris Petersen touched on a number of topics in his Monday press conference (view below), but one of the most interesting was his inner debate about whether the Huskies should have allowed Cal to score a touchdown at the end to save some precious time for the Huskies to score later.

Petersen also talked about his dismay regarding Cal's success at running the ball in the third quarter, which turned the game around, but the discussion about the clock management, which took place midway through the press conference, was the most intriguing.

Let's relive the moment:

Cal trailed by two points when it got a first down at the Washington 3-yard line with 44 seconds left. Washington called a timeout after Cal's first two plays, one of which was a Chris Brown Jr. run for no gain and the other was just a slide to the left by Chase Garbers simply to center the ball for the field goal and not meant to score a touchdown. After the second timeout, 35 seconds remained. Brown ran up the middle on third down, getting within inches of the goal-line, and Washington called its final timeout with 12 seconds left. When Greg Thomas kicked the field goal to put the Bears ahead by a point eight seconds were left.

The question is, should Washington have allowed Brown to score a touchdown on the first-down play, which would have put the Huskies behind by six points, but would have given them about 38 seconds to try to score a touchdown of their own. Or should they have allowed Brown to score on the third-down run, which would have given them about 28 seconds to overcome the six-point deficit. The Huskies at least should have called timeout sooner after Brown's third-down run, which would have given them about 24-25 seconds to score a game-winning field goal.

Petersen did not say whether he would allow an opponent to score if a similar situation arose in the future.

Cal, on the other hand, managed the clock beautifully. The other thing is, if Cal noticed Washington was encouraging the Bears to score a touchdown, they could simply have taken a knee for three downs, exhausted Washington's timeouts, and kicked the field goal.

View Petersen's Monday press conference here: