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9 days to football: Kickoff or receive?

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What would you do if your team won the coin toss?

WSU Athletic Communications

We've covered nearly every detail of a WSU football game during this discussion series, so we might as well make it comprehensive and talk about the opening kickoff.

If you were the coach and your team won the coin toss, would you kickoff or receive?

I would imagine most would choose to take the ball and put the offense on the field first. Many fans would rather watch the offense than the defense and receiving the kickoff gives a team a chance to take an early lead. I would actually go the opposite way on this one and choose to play defense.

A defensive stand on the first series is a good way to calm the nerves and help a team settle in. Plus, a punt or a turnover will likely give the offense better field position than an opening kickoff. Allowing a touchdown on the opening series digs an early hole, but not it's not debilitating.

The bigger reason I'd choose to kickoff is to get the ball to begin the second half. If you go into halftime trailing and need to make a comeback, opening the second half on offense, to me, is a greater advantage than opening the game on offense.

What would you do if you were in Mike Leach's shoes?