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Leavitt on Belichick's fourth-down gamble



TAMPA -- USF coach Jim Leavitt can understand the difficult decision Patriots coach Bill Belichick faced Sunday night in deciding to go for it on fourth and 2 from his 28-yard line with 2:08 left against the Colts.

Belichick's gamble didn't pay off, as the Patriots' pass fell short of a first down, and the Colts had a short field for the winning touchdown to remain unbeaten.


"Good for him," said Leavitt, whose team converted two bold fourth-and-1 calls in its win against West Virginia three weeks ago. "You look at the West Virginia game -- we were on (our 49) and our own (41). Now, we could have lost that game, and you think people beat me up now, whew. You kidding me? You know what, we got those fourth downs and we won the game, so nobody talks about it too much. When you don't make it, I imagine he's getting reamed."

Leavitt said coaches have to make difficult decisions and live with them -- after the West Virginia game, he called his own gambles "pretty stupid" and "probably foolish," but such scrutiny is mild after a victory.

"That's the nature of the deal," Leavitt said. "You've got to go out and make decisions. One thing about me, people have never said I'm indecisive. I'm not saying I make all the right decisions. I'm human, I make a number of mistakes. But I've never been indecisive."

The Bulls are 8-for-11 on fourth-down attempts this season, with one of the misses coming when USF took a knee on the final play of a victory to run out the clock. That's the best success rate in the Big East and has USF tied for 10th nationally in Division I-A.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 7:35pm]


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