it's a major award
So I think I decided the football gods were against us at one point in I think the second quarter (maybe early third). We've managed to stop Sparty short on 3rd and 10 at around the 30 yard line. But there's a flag for false start, the play was dead. Sparty proceeds to convert 3rd and 15.
Something I've always wondered about is this: If the defense jumps offside, the offense gets a "free play" - the play won't be blown dead unless the defenseless QB is about to get lit up. The offense then has the chance to take the penalty or the result of the play.
Why are the rules different on false starts? Assuming a play immediately follows the false start, shouldn't the defense get a "free play"? This seems particularly unfair, because many times a false start is the result of the D showing blitz and the O-line getting antsy (or because the offense is just totally confused). Blowing the play dead wrecks the surprise of the blitz and gives the offense a chance to regroup - which is exactly what happened today, blowing our chance for a critical stop.
Today, I was in the car and had just turned on the radio to check the score. It was about 4:45, Chicago time, so I'm guessing around mid-third quarter. I ran through all the stations, no scores. Finally, I found a station that was rattling off the Notre Dame score. The announcer then said, "Mark Dantonio has returned after his heart attack to coach Michigan State from the press box." I waited for a score - nothing, so I sort of tuned him out. He said a few more things, and then said, "It's now 44 - 0 and they're rolling."
OH MY FUCKING GOD. 44 - 0? I hadn't heard him mention another game or other teams after mentioning Dantonio. A feeling of panic and terror rolled through me. I almost started crying and nearly crashed my car. I frantically ran through all the stations again. Nothing. I then had to drive 20 minutes thinking it was 44 - 0, enduring all the doubts and panic, until I got home to find out that it was really 31 - 17. It was the longest 20 minutes of my life. So when I saw 31 - 17 with 14 minutes left in the 4th, I was RELIEVED. How crazy is that.
"We contained him," defensive tackle Kevin Pickelman said. "We knew he couldn't throw the ball."
I have no idea what keys he reads and what happens in practice every week to keep him starting. David Harris must die a little bit every time he watches one of our games since it is like we only have 10 guys on the field due to the horrible MLB play. I was at the Iowa/PSU game and watched James Morris a third string, true freshman, 3* recruit step into the game due to injuries in the second quarter with a score 10-0 and execute. The guy made better reads than our 3 year starter. At this point, what harm could Demens do? Let people run past him and dive at their ankles, run himself out of the play? Hell, at least see what potential we have, if any at the position. It just feels like groundhog day at this point.
I actually thought Tate would come into the game for a few downs after Denard's 2nd red zone pick. I really did. State had effectively boxed up the run game and it was time to start throwing mid-range passes -- Tate's forté.
I think it may have settled Denard a bit and may have made a difference had he come back in later.
I also caught myself thinking that we would have been up by 7 or 14 at half had Tate thrown those passes.
Oh well. What the hell do I know.
Tough loss today, but still some good games tonight. Nothing like watching Kiffin look like an idiot to take the mind off of today's game.