Do you go for it on 4th and less than 6 near the 50

Watching college football this year is making me a BIG believer that a good offense is the best defense when winning late against teams that can score.

Watching Tulsa try to sit on a lead, twice and coming up craps was bad.
Watching Memphis giving the ball back to UCF and losing was tough.
Watched Nebraska trying to get win #1 and then punting to Northwestern who drive 99 yards after trailing by 2 TDs stick it in the EZ and win.

There seems to be a ton of this happening these days.

UCF in fact DID go for it in negative territory against Memphis and it fueled their comeback.

If you miss on 4th down at midfield it seems like you have almost an equal shot of stopping a high powered O than if they have to go 85 yards for a TD.


The math says you should never punt in that situation unless you have a horrible offense.

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Care to share the math on that? I would think score also factors in. I would think the math at 6 yards is significantly different than 1 yard.

My biggest gripe with coaches is trying to get all the first down yards on 3rd down when you’re right about the 50. If you know you have two plays try and gain at least half to then make it a shorter 4th down,

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Here’s a link to some math. There’s a private HS in Arkansas that has won something like 5 state titles with this approach.

Against Navy you should because you get like 6 possessions against those guys.


Fun topic! @uhredcat96 thanks for sparking the convo.
Let’s see if can do the topic justice. Easy answer is to say it is situational. To make the discussion more interesting, I’ll add that our defense, to my surprise, is improving week by week, so for us it would not make sense to go for it. Let’s throw a situation out there just for fun. 3rd Quarter 2 min left. We are down by 10 ( 13 - 23) , we haven’t had too much going all game, but the run game is starting to be more effective. Our defense is making stops and the offense is moving along. Here we are 4th &6 Do we go for it?

Me - NO Way. 6 is to far and momentum is a very elastic thing. We may be building momentum, but that is just to risky, PUNT.

That’s High school

Of course it’s situational, it always is but if the defense is playing well land have some rest you punt. But if your offense is clicking much better than the D I’m way more inclined to go for it.

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Kinda like how those gimmicky spread, quick pace offenses will only work in college and doesn’t translate to the pros?


Let’s make it personal.
UH is up 41-38. It’s the 4th Quarter, 2:37 on the clock. Memphis just scored a TD to make it a 3-point game. Memphis has 2 timeouts. It’s 4th and 4 at our own 46.

Punt or go for it? Why did you do what you did?

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Go for it. Memphis has a good enough offense to go 70 yards in this amount of time with 2 time outs. Regardless of the recent results, I am not completely confident our D could stop them if they are on a roll. I am confident that we can get 4 yards more often than not. My answer might change by the time we get to Thanksgiving.

I’m with you. I go for it. It is better that if Memphis scores a TD that there is some time on the clock for us to take it back down. And we would need a TD.
I’m the same. I feel more confident we could convert the fourth down than stop a Memphis team that just got momentum on offense, at their home. Get the first and keep making firsts. Make the clock THEIR problem.

Btw, this RB has a 1000 yards and is averaging 10 ypc. He could grind out the clock if we have to punt.

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That is a nail biter! Given our current D and based on what we saw the year before at Memphis, we have to go for it. The pass D is too much of a wild card. GO for it in this situation!


Not enough information. Is UH on the 46 after recovering an onside kick an not gained a yard since?

Sorry, it is 4th and still less than 6.

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Still did not answer the question. Was there an onside kick? This makes a big difference!

Okay, it was an onside kick we recovered.

I guess it wasn’t so important after all…

I am going for it because I trust my team.