May 27, 2013 by Charlie Eisenhood in News with 2 comments
The above chart shows every one of Oregon’s throws in their semifinal loss to Pittsburgh. The blue lines represent completed passes, the green lines represent scores, and the red lines represent turnovers.
You can see that Oregon was far more likely to turn it over on a huck than on a swing or short upfield throw. In fact, they were remarkably consistent with their shorter throws, only turning it over three times on short to mid-distance throws.
Pittsburgh coach Nick Kaczmarek told Ultiworld that he made some adjustments midway through the game to encourage more deep shots from Oregon. That strategy paid off, as the Pitt defenders were more easily able to generate turnovers by relying on foot speed and leaping ability. For Pitt, it proved a lot easier than trying to shut down vicious strike cuts from Dylan Freechild.
We must note that many of Oregon’s scores also came on deep shots. Perhaps their strategy was to open things up by putting it to the endzone. But their best offense came out of smooth flow and rapid disc movement — the team was more turnover-prone when they tried to force hucks into contested spaces.
Pittsburgh will now face another huck-happy team, Central Florida, today at 2:30 PM CDT in the National Championship game. You can watch livestreaming coverage of the game on ESPN 3 and the Watch ESPN app.
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