Tracey Claeys took a chance Thursday night – one that many other college coaches probably would not have.
After his Golden Gophers scored a touchdown with 1:27 left to go up 30-23 against Oregon State, Claeys opted to go for a 2-point conversion and essentially end the game. Conventionally, most coaches would kick the extra point to go ahead by eight points, making the opponent need a touchdown and 2-point conversion to tie.
Minnesota’s 2-point conversion failed, but it didn’t end up hurting the Gophers as their defense held strong to secure the season-opening win. Claeys explained his decision afterward in his press conference:
“The question is it is a bigger risk if the other team goes and scores and they go for two and don’t make it. My opinion is 95 percent of the time those teams score late, they’re going to kick the extra point and go to overtime, he said, referencing if Oregon State could have gone for the win if it had scored a late touchdown.
“So I’d rather take the chance on three yards and ending the game. That’s my philosophy on that. And we practice that, and we got our kids to believe that, too. We didn’t get the 2-point this time, but the defense did a good job of getting a stop.”
Claeys’ entire postgame press conference can be found here: