3rd and 1 gambles

Early in the game the Ti-Cats went on 3rd and 1 when they were in field goal range. At the time we were down 7 to 3.

While I don't have a problem with going for it, I really have to question the play that was called. They handed off to Lumsden about 3 yards back from the line of scrimmage behind another back.

I may not be a coach, but I can tell you that I have seen my share of attempts on 3rd and a yard or less, and that is a low percentage call. The defense keyed on Jesse and had plenty of time to get to him before he got to the line of scrimmage.

Here is what I feel are the simple rules when your team has a 3rd and 1:

  1. When it's a half a yard or less, quarterback sneak works 90% of the time, as long as the QB can make an athletic push

  2. When it's more then half a yard, without making a risky passing or trick play, you make a quick hand off close to the line of scrimmage, preferably to a fullback. The play must be quick, and the RB must not be too deep in the backfield or the defense often penetrates and you don't make it.

The key to the play is the timing of the snap, the speed of the play development, and of course the ability for the O-Line to make a strong forward surge. Anything that is slow gives the defense a chance to get in the backfield. This is dangerous and often results in the ball being turned over on downs.

For the 'Cats, this means Radelin or Dickenson getting the ball. Want to add a little deception, put Holmes or Lumsden in the backfield, and the D won't be able to key on one player.

What did you think of the call? What do you think is the best call when it's 3rd and more then a half a yard?


Maas takes the snap, immediately gives the ball to Lumsden (who has already run from behind Maas to parallel with Maas) and Lumsden follows Dickerson through the line.

Like you, I have NO IDEA why they handed it to Lumsden three yards behind the line of scrimage. With BC's strong front four, it was a very dumb play call.

Good thread, jonesie.

In third and one situations, some CFL teams routinely use their second or third string quarterback to do a quarterback sneak. If the Ticats want to protect Jason Maas and Timmy Chang from injuries, perhaps they could use Richie Williams in this role. He is quick off the ball and has good height (6'3") to lean forward and gain the extra few inches that are sometimes needed for a first down. He would probably be happy to get on the field even if it is only once or twice a game.

I agree, the call on third and one was bad. As far as using Williams to go for the QB sneak, you still have to make a clean snap and he has had problems before.

give the ball to radlein. last year behind a crappy o-line, he picked up the 1st down 90% of the time.

You need a QB sneak specialist, IMHO. In this league, it's essential.

Maas handed off because the $300K shoulder doesn't need to have a primate missile hit it. All things being equal, the Cats need to practice this elementary play with Williams and start using him in short yardage, IMO.

Oski Wee Wee,

lumsden is the wrong back for short yardage.he has size but no power unless in a full run.he runs upright when low shoulders is whats needed

Game of field position. The punt coverage special team has not looked this good for many years. Pick your spots and use the plays practiced, plus pull one out of the hat every so often to keep them honest. Opponents watch these plays in pre game preparations, as they tend to be momentum builders &/or gamebreakers.