I had no problem with the call. In fact, I agreed with it and still do.
1. The offense has not converted a 4th and inches all season. If they couldn't do it against Rhode Island, they likely weren't going to do it against a good Rutgers front 7 that had dominated them all day, this time with the game on the line.
2. The defense had dominated Rutgers pretty much all game. No reason to think they couldn't keep Rutgers out of the endzone.
3. In the 2nd OT, we have the slight advantage having the ball second.
In hindsight, it was the wrong call because we lost. But considering the above factors, I have no problem with it.
There were so many other bad coaching decisions during the game, and this one isn't on the list imo.
I don't have a problem with the call in a vacuum. BUT, I think there are some oddities here. For one, going for it on 4th and 10 with 30 seconds or so on the clock from the RU 37. To me, this shows Marrone wants to play aggressive and try to win the game. The conservative play here is to punt the football. Yes it's no-man's land, yes it's entirely possible you gain 17 yards with a touchback, but even picking up 15-20 yards of real estate and taking 5 or 6 seconds off the clock while mitigating the risk of an RU interception would be preferable (in many fb coaches' minds) to risking a pick and the exact scenario that played out.
Then, on 3rd and 1 in OT, they ran to the right from the right hash to set up an awkward kick for a right-footed kicker who had been blocked twice on the day. Yes, I realize they're trying to get the first down, not set up a kick, but it seemed like a pretty tough kick from where they were on the field.
And finally, if you don't want to take the game out of the hands of the players, what better scenario is there to let the players decide the game than on a 4th-and-1 or half-a-yard? I get that we haven't been successful much in these scenarios, but I think it still sets up -- in terms of 0dds -- as about as good a chance as you're EVER going to have to win a football game.
Listen, I'm not entirely against the call. IF Te misses a long FG (and he was bad Sat. as well) and/or the cuse drives down and scores a TD in the second OT, we're not even talking about this. I just think Marrone is still trying to figure out if he's conservative or aggressive when it comes to play-calling and in-game decisions.