One Frame At A Time: Nebraska Comment Count

Ace October 29th, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Hey, how was your weekend? Oh, right. Same here.

At least this is a Michigan blog and not a Michigan/Tigers one—I think we'd be in full post-Horror kittens mode right now. Except with more Tim McCarver. Pass the cyanide, please.

[The rest of the TOTALLY FUN gifs after THE JUMP.]

There were two very close calls in the game worth taking a look at again. First, Roy Roundtree's overturned catch from the first half:

When I saw it live, I thought that was a play that relied entirely on the call on the field—either way, there wouldn't be enough evidence to overturn. My opinion hasn't changed.

The call on the first Russell Bellomy interception, however, appeared correct at first view and stands up to the gif test:

P.J. Smith probably hit every green light on his drive home, but Russell Bellomy tackled him on his doorstep; Bellomy then threw his wallet, containing six different forms of identification, directly to a police officer.

Despite the entirely depressing nature of the game, the defense was a bright spot, and Craig Roh stood out most of all:

Maybe don't block him with a running back next time.

Finally, I'll close with this:

I feel you, man.



October 29th, 2012 at 10:35 AM ^

I think you can see enough of the ball hitting the ground on the first that it could be overturned; and I don't see how the ball pops up like that if it's landing on his arms and not hitting the ground.

But I guess that's what makes officiating so hard.

gpsimms not to…

October 29th, 2012 at 11:07 AM ^


I feel you can pretty clearly see the ball touch the ground and shift in Roundtree's, and you can pretty clearly see Smith has two arms completely under the ball.  Just my epinion.  The smith thing is compounded by the fact that from that angle, his hands are clearly under the ball before his back is in the way, then his back is in the way.  No way to overturn.
Further, to your point about how can the ball pop up like that if it didn't hit the ground: I feel since he was rolling over so the ball's momentum is in direction tangent to rotation (ie up) AND the ball gets squeezed by NU defender falling on top of him, it is super-possible for ball to be squirted up that direction.


October 29th, 2012 at 11:52 AM ^

And he doesn't land on him till he's already rolled over.  So I can't see how he's pressing the ball down for it to pop out.

But it brings up all sorts of interesting questions....

If the arms were under the ball, and he rolls over with it never touching, is that not a football move? Or has he not "completed the catch?" This is where they've made the rules on catches too arcane. If it hits the ground under him, or is knocked loose by the ground, it's incomplete. If he rolls over with it not touching, isn't that a catch because....

Is that a late hit? He's on the ground, he can't get up and run with it even if he did catch it (not NFL as we all know), can you jump on the receiver to try and jar it loose even after he's "down"?  What if he was out of can't hit him there just to try and make the catch incomplete by him dropping it after he gets his two toes in once he steps out of bounds.  Or, if he's juggling it on his chest, is it ok to spear a downed man just to loosen the ball?

But I'm just having fun with it. It didn't change the game a lick.  And it just illustrates that Ace was "wrong; right" I was "right; wrong" and you were "right; right"....and there's probably someone who things it was "wrong; right." And that we kill officials, sometimes justifiably, but there's a lot of human judgement in these things.


October 29th, 2012 at 10:38 AM ^

Let me know the next time a replay DOESNT go against us in some manner.  I mean its freaking unreal - borderline, "you really cant tell from the camera angle" type plays that are ruled in our favor like the Roundtree catch get over-ruled.  Borderline "you really cant tel from the camera angle" type plays that go against us like the Smith high-bounce interception that are ruled against us on the field stand.  Think about the calls in last years OSU game as well as this year's Purdue game - it sure seems to me like if it goes to replay we get hosed about 90% of the time.  The only big call  I can recall going our way was in last year's Sugar Bowl and that game wasn't officiated by B1G referees.

Not saying those two calls would've changed the outcome of the game but damn It's frustrating to watch.  Did we somehow piss off every replay official in the B1G on our way to 900 wins or something?


October 29th, 2012 at 10:58 AM ^

Just cause you're paranoid doesnt mean people arent out to get you.......

Refute my arguement then.  Tell me the calls on Saturday that WENT our way once it went to replay.  Show me all the times a marginal call was either reversed or allowed to stand in our favor.  I must've been pouring another drink when those occurred.


October 29th, 2012 at 11:12 AM ^

a few years ago, when the replay booth gave Michigan a touchdown because the receiver's foot hit the pylon like 2 feet in the air?  That call was just blatantly wrong, but it went our way.  These things happen in both directions for every team in the country.  


October 29th, 2012 at 12:06 PM ^

I understand that view, it wasn't malicious contact.

But what was the point of touching him at all?  I saw Floyd and Brady both arguing that he "was only wrapping him up"... but what is the point of that?  You don't have any obligation to catch a guy so he doesn't fall.  Let him fall.  Or rather, turn around and go back to the huddle.  Leave him alone, forget about it, the play is over.  That was a terrible play on M's part.


October 29th, 2012 at 10:49 AM ^

The Big Ten (and NCAA since they copied the Big Ten's system) has the best replay system conceivable except in one crucial aspect. What's good about it is it's applied by impartial necessity (no need for coaches to have to gamble timeouts on appeals for fairness) and it's calibrated to make the most sense to people watching on TV, since if you're in the stadium you have no idea what happened anyway.

Then they utterly ruined it by having former officials instead of young rulebook nerds be in charge of it. The Big Ten in particular has a team of utterly blind incompetents upstairs who determine the course of plays by apparently bashing their heads against the screen until the result is absorbed by osmosis. They have no friggin' idea what the rules are. Sometimes they might get their own names correct. The two replays in this game, the brain-exploding call on the Gallon catch vs. MSU last year that they ruled 3 yards short of where he caught it, the overturn of the OSU TD by Fitz last year, the moronic TD they gave Minor against MSU in 2008...every team in the conference could make a far longer list of B1G replay officials' spectacular boners than any list of correct overturns. Until the conference makes the job require a razor-sharp knowledge of the rulebook and 20-20 vision instead of making it a cushy job for old refs who can't hack it on the field anymore, the system will continue to be an abject failure and the shame of our conference.


October 29th, 2012 at 12:38 PM ^

The Nebraska game certainly doesn't make that point very well.  As far as we can tell, the Vincent Smith INT wasn't reviewed -- or, at least, there was no statement from the officials on the field that the play had been reviewed and the call stands.  Unless they did some sort of "mini-review" as posited below, I'd say the "need for review" part of the system didn't work so swell.


October 29th, 2012 at 10:43 AM ^

I still don't get how the interception above was ruled an interception. Did they rule that Smith never had possession, so he couldn't be "down" with the ball on the ground? That and it looked like the ball hit the ground while watching the game. I thought there were two possible rulings - incomplete, or complete, and Smith is down.


October 29th, 2012 at 11:24 AM ^

then when his arm.....and knee (they hit at the same time)...hit the ground......he is down. period. The rule is that the ground can't cause a fumble, so in this case he either did not have possession, in which case it is incomplete, or he had possession of a complete pass and when he hits the ground, he is down.....period.

Why wasn't that play reviewed? Can't Hoke request a review on that?



October 29th, 2012 at 11:44 AM ^

Vince never had full posession and then somehow chucked it into the air, I just cannot believe they didn't review it. Did that play look textbook to everyone? At full game speed it looks like the ball is basically on the ground and then in the air all of a sudden


October 29th, 2012 at 12:05 PM ^

Hoke said after the game that he was told the play was reviewed. I don't know for a fact that a review occurred and the announcers never said there was a review, but it did take longer than usual before the next play was run. It's possible that there was a quick review that led to a conclusion tat no formal review was necessary. It was clear to me that the ball never touched the ground; however, the possibility that it was a catch and Smith was down occurred to me (but probably not to the nimrods in the box).


October 29th, 2012 at 3:29 PM ^

I think in order for it to be a reception, the receiver needs to maintain posession of the ball after contact with the ground, and the ball cannot touch the ground: particularly if it is moving around.

So, since Smith did not hang onto the ball it is not a reception, but because when we last see the ball it is between his arm and the ground it is not down yet. So when it goes flying out the other side (where we cannot see if the ball is touching the ground or not), that ball is effectively the same as a tipped pass.

I am thinking the ground can't cause a fumble rule is applied once posession is completely established.


October 29th, 2012 at 2:21 PM ^

First, even though TV announcers who like to pretend they know what they are talking about say it all of the time, there is no such rule that the ground can't cause a fumble.  It certainly can cause a fumble, but only in a very specific situation.  But since that doesn't have anything to do with this situation, because nobody claims that it was a fumble, we can drop the whole concept.

A pass is not complete until the receiver establishes that he has possession within the rules, and a pass is not incomplete until the ball hits the ground (or any object that is out of bounds).  The pass in this situation was adjudged (a) not to have been secured by the receiver, and (b) not to have touched the ground.  As a result, the play continued as a forward pass and was caught by the Nebraska player.

If you want to argue the incompletion, you might have a strong case, but your argument will have nothing to do with knees or elbows.


October 29th, 2012 at 10:56 AM ^

I'm ok with either call by itself, but they'll play hell convincing me that the details of the first somehow don't apply to the second. One other possibility exists, of course. He was paid to pretend to catch the ball and then throw it 20 feet into the air - the ground never did a thing.

UofM Die Hard …

October 29th, 2012 at 10:59 AM ^

awful feeling today.  We can still finish out 9-3 like most of us projected but I did not see that Ohio game coming at all, I thought PSU would have beat them....worries me.  



sigh, here is to a quick work week and a strong game Saturday.




October 29th, 2012 at 11:08 AM ^

Is it just me, or is this replay rule just an excuse to give all the close calls to the home team... that way the refs can be cheered instead of booed. It's one of those "good for everybody" rule changes that even helps pack more ads into the broadcasts!


October 29th, 2012 at 11:09 AM ^

Is it me or do you think Denard's toughness should be called out? I'm not a doctor but with the game still within reach and Bellomy doing absolutely nothing and since Hoke said Devin wasn't an option. Couldn't Denard have just ran the ball the majority of the time on a 4th quarter drive? I'm just frustrated 


October 29th, 2012 at 11:18 AM ^

Unless I'm guilty of reading comprehension fail, you're posting those GIFs of Roundtree's non-catch as evidence that the replay officials got the call wrong. Both clearly show the ball hitting the turf and bouncing up into Roundtree's arms, the second especially clearly. With all due respect and in all seriousness, how can you not see it?


October 29th, 2012 at 11:19 AM ^

Unfortunately, I think the refs ended up with both of the calls correct.

On the Roundtree play, the ball definitely seems to hit the ground and shift a pretty decent amount.  I think that's clearer of an incompletion than the Virginia Tech play last year (which I think the refs ended up being right on there too).

On the Smith interception, I think however it was called on the field would stand.  The way I'm thinking it worked (without the ball hitting the ground) was that basically the ball got squished between his hands and chest and then sprung out of there.

On a brighter note, on the "maybe don't block Roh with a RB next time"... they may as well have not blocked him on that play.  Holy shit that's impressive.


October 29th, 2012 at 11:35 AM ^

I thought both replays resulted in the correct call.

Roundtree: nose of ball hits ground and moves -> Incomplete pass

Smith: Arms appear to be under ball, no replay angle ever shows the ball hitting the ground -> ruling on the field stands. The argument that "no way does the ball do that unless it hits the ground" is dumb. Yes it's possible, and it's not the replay officials place to speculate on it.

If you want to debate it, that's fine. But it's nowhere near "we were robbed" territory and there is no conspiracy here. Both were close calls that, given the video evidence, I think the officials made the correct decisions.

/my humble e-pinion

EDIT: Changed "Gallon" to "Smith"


October 29th, 2012 at 11:26 AM ^

I agree on both GIF's that they were poor calls.  On the Roundtree one I think it's just a case of there not being enough evidence to overturn the call.  He has the one arm around the ball the entire time and there isn't enough of a bounce that I feel he benefitted from it in any way. 

Smith one is a little more difficult but in college there is no down by contact once your knee or elbow touches you are down.  I think the refs should have at least looked at it.  Whether or not they would over turn the call on the field is beyond me but I definitely thnk it should of at least gotten a glance.

Bad calls happen all the time for all teams save Notre Dame this year so I'm not overly bitter about it.  I just wonder if the Roundtree one is ruled a catch maybe we get in the endzone there and the game turns out differently.  Maybe that's just wishful thinking.

After an awful sports weekend I get to get blasted by hurricane sandy.  yay me.


October 29th, 2012 at 11:32 AM ^

I get your argument regarding the Roundtree call... But from my experience watching college football, that when the ball moves as much as it did when it touched the ground, it's going to be ruled incomplete more times than not.

Let's face it: if that same play happened to Nebraska, you'd be screaming "Incomplete!" at your TV.


October 29th, 2012 at 11:32 AM ^

Can somebody help me on this:  if Smith catches the ball, rolls on the ground, then it pops up to another player, why isn't it ruled as a complete catch, down by contact to the ground?