4th and 1 spot

Submitted by Ziff72 on October 17th, 2011 at 1:58 PM

On the ill fated 4th and 1 did anyone notice if we for had the 1st down on the pass to Gallon and got a bad mark?   I thought Gallon had the 1st down on the catch.   I was walking out of the room with my head in my hand as soon as they lined up under center, but I thought it was pretty clear he was over and then pushed back as he caught it.

Sorry if this was already covered I went dark until this morning and didn't see it anywhere.  I'm waiting for Boys to get me every snap so I can see for myself.  Everything got deleted when I got home in a blind rage.  



October 17th, 2011 at 2:01 PM ^

I thought this and the non-backwards pass were two of the biggest plays of the game.  Not that we deserved to win with the way we played, but we damn well could have if those two calls go our way.  Then again, if the backwards pass had been called a fumble, this play would have never happened.


October 17th, 2011 at 2:05 PM ^

We played an awful, awful game. OTOH I don't think MSU played much better. It seemed like we kept stalling on offense until/unless they bailed us out with a dumbass penalty, then they'd have a few good series on offense and we would shut them down. Even with the amount of derp found on the Michigan side of the field and sideline, it was a very close game until the end.


October 17th, 2011 at 2:20 PM ^

That's what makes it all the more frustrating.  They are now in the driver's seat for the Legends division, the media is fawning over them, and they got 4 in a row, when really, they needed 55 minutes to put us away after a terrible terrible performance.... ugh.  Oh well, we still have a shot at the division if we win out and they lose to wisky and nebraska, or some other team they have no business losing to (which happens a lot with them).


October 17th, 2011 at 2:41 PM ^

Yep. It's the flipside of what you said in your first post. We played nowhere near good enough to win, but it's not like MSU had an even good game. Unfourtunately, someone has to win and in this case MSU caught some breaks (mostly given to them by our awful playing and playcalling).

I also think we have a good shot at the division. If Denard stops passing like he's Taylor Martinez, I think we can get by anyone if we play a good game. MSU will likely lose next week and we'll only be in second by virtue of their tiebreaker.

Edit: jklol, Nebraska playes Minnesota, which will be a bloodbath. We'll be T2nd after next week if MSU loses and Nebraska wins.

Double edit: Or will that be a three way tie for first with MSU holding the tiebreaker? We'd all be 2-1.


October 18th, 2011 at 12:17 AM ^

MSU would hold a tiebreaker over us at the moment via head-to-head, but that gets thrown out the window when Nebraska enters the picture.  You can't do head-to-head when Nebraska hasn't faced us or Sparty.  Just like last season when MSU/OSU/Wisky.  Since they all had one conference loss but MSU & OSU didnt play eachother, they went to highest BCS rating to determine th Rose Bowl bid.  In this case, Nebraska has the highest BCS ranking. 

Edit:  After H-2-H, I would guess the next tie-breaker would be division record.  If we are all still tied, then it would be BCS ranking I would guess. 


October 17th, 2011 at 2:28 PM ^

we beat ND and could have beaten them. I'll go to my grave believing that their intimidation through illegal ugly played a role in their winning and that it has nothing to do with growing bigger testicles.

But our o line failed to protect or make room for Denard, and neither he nor Gorgeous Al could do much about that, esp. given the weather. (Bringing in Devin again and again early arguably really hurt the ability to get in rhythm, as the announcers said, but it hadn't hurt rhythm against NW or Minny, so there's that.)

I share your frustration with the national perception of MSU and hope Wisconsin lays 100 on them this weekend, even if it makes us look that much less powerful. 


October 17th, 2011 at 2:05 PM ^

The backward pass was the play of the game.  98% chance we recover that ball and 50/50 he takes it to the house for the score.

It would have been a nice steal of a game.

I always like to imagine the headlines if a play was flipped. If MSU melts down and blows that game the press is all over Dantonio for a lack of discipline etc..


October 17th, 2011 at 2:17 PM ^

I think it would have been more like 100% chance we take it back, as there was one MSU receiver within 10 yds of the ball and about 5 defenders.

Those headlines you mentioned would be oh so glorious, and just when I thought I was getting over the game you made it suck again....


October 17th, 2011 at 2:01 PM ^

This is one topic I haven't seen covered. I thought he had gotten the first also. I thought we should've at least asked for a measure. Hard to complain tho. There were a few questionable spots that went our way earlier.


October 17th, 2011 at 2:05 PM ^

agreed.  Whatever, not every call is gonna go your way, especially on the road.  should have been challenge by the staff, IMO, but it wasn't the reason Michigan lost.

Indiana Blue

October 17th, 2011 at 3:45 PM ^

that was close enough that the refs should have NEVER moved the ball.  They needed to spot it where Gallon was down and then bring in the sticks for a measurement.  I was there too on that side of the field and it was that close.  Overall I think the refs had a horrible game too.

Also did you notice whatever ref it was that spotted the ball ALWAYS moved the ball exactly to a yardline ... which is actually impossible to do every time ... but he did.  Amazing.

Go Blue!


October 17th, 2011 at 2:04 PM ^

Yep, it really should have been a first down.  That with the fumble call that would have most definitely been a defensive touchdown.  The refs didn't really help us out, but it's still no excuse for the loss, we got dominated in the trenches, which was the reason we lost.


October 17th, 2011 at 2:05 PM ^

I agree. I mean, I dont know if he made it, but man demand a measurement there or something. It did look close, closer than the fake FG attempt, which on measurement was a first down


October 17th, 2011 at 2:05 PM ^

Of course, I didn't really care too much because we have Denard on 4th and inches and MSU  had no one in the middle. I cared a lot after that play though.


October 17th, 2011 at 2:07 PM ^

I thought the same thing about the spot of the ball. Then when I saw Denard under center. I shook my head and said to my son, "nothing good can come from Denard being under center."

Section 1

October 17th, 2011 at 2:08 PM ^

But it was not a terrible call.  At the game, the people I was with all agreed that we had a gotten a very bad spot.  Our angle was not the best.  I thought the spot was questionable, but I wasn't sure.

Seeing it on television, from a midfield (good) camera position, it is clear to me that Gallon latched on to the ball ahead of the first down marker, but he was moving backwards.  It may have been a technically bad call; it was not a terrible call.  We should have picked up the First on Fourth and inches.

I agree that the backwards pass was a badly, terribly blown call.  Pretty much inexplicable.  Completely within the refs control, and blown.

Shit happens.


October 17th, 2011 at 2:10 PM ^

This was probably the low point in the game for me as far as confidence in the coaches goes, and that is saying a lot. I haven't built up the courage to find that on the DVR, but I was 90% sure that he caught the ball and came back past the 1st down marker. That should have been challenged....Then the play call...my god the play call....

Borges lost a lot of my respect this game...


October 17th, 2011 at 4:26 PM ^

If you watch the replay, you see that a) Dileo had the ball close to his head (not where you usually would expect it) and b) his legs/lower half were on an MSU defender, meaning he wasn't down quite as early as you might have thought.

When I saw it live, I was less than sure we got it, but surprisingly (to me), the replay showed the spot was accurate (which, to give both sets of refs credit, is what they called).


October 17th, 2011 at 2:14 PM ^

I thought the same thing when it happened - the liveblog exploded with a call for reviewing the spot.  The refs were busy on SAturday with all the flags, but that and the backward pass calls were game-changers that they screwed up on.  Still, run the damn ball there and it isn't an issue.

Mitch Cumstein

October 17th, 2011 at 2:26 PM ^

I was talking to a friend about this and I think it was a really poor decision by Hoke not to challange the spot. 

Worst Case: The call stands (most likely scenario given I've rarely seen a spot overturned) and you get a timeout to set up the 4th and 1.  With the timeout maybe you can get the right play, or at least talk to Denard about recognizing where the pressure is coming from and what not.

Best Cast: Call is overturned, First down.


Hindsight is 20/20, but I think that would have been the right call there, as other posters have mentioned.


October 17th, 2011 at 4:28 PM ^

You laid it out correctly.  There is really no major downside.  Hoke blew it on that one, and I don't think we need to say "Hindsight is 20/20" - this was something, as noted elsewhere, many Michigan fans were thinking AT THE TIME.  Challenge the freakin' spot!

name redacted

October 17th, 2011 at 2:29 PM ^

Happens every time.  Predictable as snow in the UP.  When a team loses a game, its fan base finds one bad play to obsess about.  Its like a disgruntled fan base needs some common ground to apply a laser focus. 

Sure, most likely there were better plays to be had.  But honestly, it was one play in a game we were solidely beaten.  We didn't deserve to win that game. Their players were dirty, their fans are as mature as 1st graders, their coach a prick, but they beat us in every facet of the game.  Offense, defense, special teams, coaching, all of it. 

Can we just drop this one play call cost us the game bs?

name redacted

October 17th, 2011 at 3:06 PM ^

Nothing at you directly Ziff, I could/should have made that clear in my comment, I can 'comprehend' you were discussing the spot.  I was speaking more in general. Read through the past 2 days of comments and threads, Brians own, the podcast, and the a few of the comments on your post... I just find it odd that after a loss people seem to focus on one or two plays.  This week is the 4th and 1 call. 


October 17th, 2011 at 4:13 PM ^

That's just a base fan reaction.  You are right.

It's better than the media reaction when it is a tough game.

If the 1 call goes our way on the backward pass the MSM media is on Dantonio for having no discipline blah blah blah.   Football is really just a sum of some really close plays most of the time.


October 17th, 2011 at 2:32 PM ^

to pick up 6 friggin inches no matter where they spot the damn ball.


The backwards pass was M's fault for not falling on the ball right away, if its an immediate revcovery its reviewable.  That's on our players/coaches for not being aware.


October 17th, 2011 at 5:02 PM ^

If they fall on the ball then they're down right away.  To me it looked the player (I forget who it was) was trying to scoop the ball up and run with it.  I don't think he was hesitating, he was just trying to pick it up wihout being ruled down.  It's impossible to really tell though.


October 17th, 2011 at 2:47 PM ^

Do people really not get what Borges was thinking on the playcall?  Do you not remember the previous 4th and short, that we miraculously converted on the read option even though Worthy (i think) was basically eating the RB at the mesh point?

Also, this: '"I thought they would run the football," Dantonio said"

The Shredder

October 17th, 2011 at 3:00 PM ^

The previous play doesn't matter. Its like 6 inches. Denard can get a yard. Turning your back to a blitz is the dumbest idea in the history of football. MSU didn't even hide the fact they were gonna bring the house and Denard still didn't check out of it or call a time out(which he never checks btw). Do you think MSU had any respect for the running back after we refused to give them the ball. They knew Michigan went in Denard or bust mode. On the fake hand off to Fitz not one MSU defender cared to hit him. No excuses on that play period.


October 17th, 2011 at 3:52 PM ^

Denard was not at fault there.  Brandon Moore's job was to pick up that blitzer, and he whiffed. 

But anyway, the fact that we failed to gain those six inches demonstrates that the previous play DID matter.  Weird things can happen on any snap.  It's infinitely better to have a 1st and 10 than a 4th and inches.

Promote RichRod

October 17th, 2011 at 3:38 PM ^

in my top 5 for the coaching failures in this game.  The backwards pass should have been challenged immediately.  Even if they don't give us the ball back like they should, we would still "win" the challenge in that the ball would be placed where it was downed and Sparty loses 4 yards or so on the play.  We retain the timeout, etc.

The Gallon spot should also have been challenged.  I'm not one to yell at the tv but Hoke drove me to the edge there.  It was clear he got a terrible spot, it was at the most critical point of the game that you could imagine, it brings up 4th down and we are trying to tie the ballgame.  We follow up this failure with the worst 4th and 1 playcall I've ever seen.  Sweet.


October 17th, 2011 at 3:47 PM ^

You can't challenge twice.  Once you've done it, that's it.  I would not have done so on the backward pass, because it wasn't going to be overturned - the official definitely blew the whistle (he shouldn't have, but he did) and that would have prevented the ball being turned over.  I agree that we should have challenged the spot on the 4th and inches, though.  I don't know why they didn't even measure.


October 17th, 2011 at 3:58 PM ^

It's a sad state of affairs though when you can't rely on your OL or  one running back to move the pile six inches when you really need to.

IMO Denard probably would have picked up the first down on a QB sneak.


October 17th, 2011 at 11:13 PM ^

I love being aggressive, but you have Denard Robinson.  Run a sneak and live to fight another down.  Al is running plays that work with an accurate pocket passer who has a run game that goes through his backs, not one that works with a spread QB who is struggling with this west coast/pro style passing system.  It's like we're doomed as Michigan fans:  We either get a dynamic offense with a paper mache defense or an offense that doesn't quite fit the personnel (and I admit that Al has adjusted a bit) with a tough, though average (improving) defense.  I really thought they were going to put it together, but until Borges adapts or we get recruits to fit his system (already do down the road) it will be a bumpy ride.