UM hasn’t been very good on third down for a while. But this season, coach Al Golden and offensive coordinator James Coley are trying to remedy those struggles by calling third-down plays with the notion they’ll use fourth down to convert.
So far, UM (2-0) is converting only 25 percent of its third downs (6 of 24), but 100 percent (5 of 5) on fourth down. Combined — on what Golden calls ‘money downs’ — UM is converting at 37.9 percent.
“For us, when we get into a certain area of the field, especially going more toward the red zone, fringe area, coach [Golden] will tell Coach Coley, ‘Hey we've got four downs here,’” quarterback Brad Kaaya said. “So if it’s third-and-7, we're not going to worry about getting all seven yards. We’re going to call a play that gets us fourth-and-1, fourth-and-2, and on fourth down we’ll call our money play, the play that will get us that first down.”