1) Our first drive. It held such promise!
2) First half defense. Held them to 7 points!
3) Field position. Can’t complain about that, I guess
4) Turnovers created. They kept us in the game, for a while, and would have done even better had the officials not whistled that lateral dead..
1) The O-line. They were dominated for 2.5 quarters of the game, during which time we scored 0 points. At least this is the best front 7 we’ll face all year...
2) The D-line. They were also dominated for the pivotal 1st and 3rd quarters, during which period MSU scored 21 points. MSU’s O-line isn’t that good, but they looked great at times today. Can’t blame the wind for that; its on us.
3) The 3rd quarter in general. Tackling was emblematic of how bad these 15 minutes were for us. We whiffed on a lot of important plays, and got progressively worse through the quarter, allowing the juggalos to go up on us by 14. Thankfully it improved in the 4th. Our offense stank it up as well, pretty much across the board.
4) The playcalling on offense. I know Gorgeous Al has forgotten more about football than I know, and you can’t always have the answers, but I felt like we showed an unfortunate stubbornness reminiscent of our 2009 and 2010 collapses. If ever there was a time to bust out the I-form, it was the point at which it became obvious our shotgun running and passing games weren’t working. This did improve in the 4th quarter, but too little, too late.
5) 3rd down performance. After our best performances of the year in this regard, we put in our worst.
6) Denard’s performance. I hate to say it, as he’s a unique talent and all-around good guy, but Denard was just terrible. Or I dunno...maybe Tacopants’ little brother Taquitopants got his first start for us? Balls were as frequently underthrown as overthrown...
7) Gardner in relief. He didn't look ready for primetime.
1) The wind. It turned a persistent problem—Denard’s accuracy—into a quagmire of Hamburger Hill proportions.
2) The 4th and Inches call with 7 minutes left. Just get the damned first down, guys.
3) Spielman. Just let Urban Meyer talk, please…
4) Gholston’s cheapshots. The guy is a thug, and if Dantonio doesn’t discipline him, then it says a lot about that program.
5) Bad memories of Big 10 campaigns past, whose turning points were depressing losses to the juggalos. See: 2009, 2010.
1) Losing to the juggalos for the 4th straight year.
2) Denard’s injury. Despite his epically bad day, we’re still lost without him.