Discussion Forum

Jones' game-winner was a designed play?

It most certainly was.

[quote="NittanyIllini, post:12, topic:1783"](EDIT: After re-reading this, I needed to change a few things at the top)

While most people think that Joe Montana was just throwing the ball away in the Montana to Clark famous connection, I once had Montana tell me three times in the same interview that he wasn’t throwing the ball away on the play that forever became known as “The Catch”. And after further review, Bill Walsh is on tape telling him right before the play that if he didn’t have anything to “throw it to Dwight”.

However, it wasn’t a planned play or anything that they drew up, but Joe knew that if all else failed, he could put the ball up to the back of the end zone where only Dwight Clark had a chance to catch it and no one else. Sure enough, as Ed “Too Tall” Jones closed in on Montana, he just floated the ball high over the defense and put it in a spot where only his player could catch it. Clark came out of the sky over Everson Walls and the rest, as they say, is history.

I bring this up, not to compare it to the play in question. For in the annals of sport, there really is no comparison to that play. No, I bring this up because great players know how to improvise and understand the situation. And while I’m hardly comparing Montana to Battle or Walsh to ED, the fact remains that Walsh had all the confidence in the world in Montana to improvise just as ED had in Battle to do the same.
The real question was did Andrew know to crash to the basket once his man left him, knowing that Battle was going to throw it off the backboard. My feeling is yes. It certainly looked like Jones was ready for that to happen.

To finish my Montana to Clark story…that play is something that they had fooled around with from time to time in practice, but had never done it in a game. Has Battle/Jones ever practiced something like that before? It sure looked like they have.[/quote]

I would like to think so, but the truth is that there was about 2.0 seconds left in the game. Everyone should have been crashing the boards after that shot. It’s pretty much the last shot of the game, so everyone on the team is going after a tip-in if the shot doesn’t go in.

I doubt he was anticipating a pass, as much he was looking for a rebound just like in any other last second shot you will see in any other basketball game. It’s just good situational awareness.

I can’t believe everyone is making a big deal out of this. It is basketball 101 for big guys. If your man doubles someone else, go to the rim for either a pass or rebound. They start teaching that in junior high school and never stop drilling it.

It was definitely a good play by both Talor & Andrew. But there wasn’t any fancy scheming behind it.