Will Refs Fairly Call MSU Penalties?

Submitted by Dailysportseditor on October 24th, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Despite its weak offensive output, MSU has only one loss this year, mainly due to its aggressive, physical defense.  However, MSU's aggressive, physical defense  has led them to becoming the 117th worse NCAA team (out of 125) for penalty yardage  [70 yards/gm].

At ND, MSU's aggressiveness on defense led to numerous key defensive penalties which gave away the game to the Irish.

After the ND game, MSU AD Mark Hollis made an inquiry to Big Ten officials regarding the penalty calls against the Spartans.  Mark Dantonio was quoted by the Detroit Free Press as questioning whether the penalty calls against his DB's reflected a change in standards for pass defenders.  Many media members questioned the calls against MSU.  In MSU's most recent home game vs. Purdue, MSU was only called for 2 penalties for 14 yards.

I think the key determinant in Michigan's upcoming game at Michigan State will be whether the refs fairly call MSU penalties, especially for pass interference/defensive holding and roughing the passer.  If Big Ten officials continue to experience a "backlash" effect and exhibit reluctance to fairly call MSU penalties in East Lansing, it will doom Michigan's chances for a big road win.  In addition, excessively rough play by MSU (as has occurred in past match-ups) could also result in injuries to Michigan's key players.



October 24th, 2013 at 5:44 PM ^

I get your point but playing on the road against these guys, Michigan is going to have to play well enough to win despite some bad breaks.  That's not fair, but it's football.

turd ferguson

October 24th, 2013 at 7:06 PM ^

I'm not at all a complain about officiating guy (except in the 2005 Alamo Bowl and all college hockey games), but I think the OP makes a fair point.  The way that the pass coverage is officiated will be a huge factor in who wins this game.  If I'm Hoke & co., I'm getting on the refs early (maybe even now) and often.


October 25th, 2013 at 9:39 AM ^

in that Staee's DB's are physical, but I think most of the time it is just particularly shocking to see corners like that in this conference that blanket receivers the way that they do.  There were a couple of legit PI calls against ND but at least two of them were marginal at best and one was a flat out bad call.  I think they have been flagged appropriately when there has been early or too much contact. but for the most part they are just really, really good.

A pre-emptive "that was pass-interference" thread more than a week before the game.  Weak.  We are gonna kick Sparty's ass in one week and it will have nothing to do with when or if a flag was thrown.


October 24th, 2013 at 8:06 PM ^

are a man's man. I can see your testicles dragging across the floor from here, and I feel afraid, very afraid. 

Honestly, when you have to make vague assertions about manhood on the internet. . . you may be suffering from some compensatory problems. 


October 24th, 2013 at 10:00 PM ^

You got me....Busted.  I am a eunuch, castrated long ago and my transparent compensation (such as OMG! suggesting that football is man's game)  is just a pathetic attempt to grasp towards manhood.  The depth and complexity of your psychoanalysis is unparalleled.  Dr. Phil, is that you?


October 24th, 2013 at 8:22 PM ^

DG needs to be very careful when running the ball. MSU will be after him. Getting him out of the game will pretty much doom Michigan. Forcing a freshman QB to beat MSU with his arm (Michigan will not be able to run the ball) will be a very difficult task. MSU will score at least 14 points against our porous defense and that probably will be enough with Morris in there.

Minus The Houma

October 24th, 2013 at 9:29 PM ^

Rico: I'm sure Hansel's heard of a bye week, he's a male model.

Space Coyore: Uh, earth to Rico, I was making a joke.

Rico: Uh, Earth to coyote, duh, okay I knew that!

Coyote: Uh earth to Rico, I'm not so sure you did cuz you were all 'well I'm sure he's heard of a bye week' like you *didn't* know it was a joke!


October 24th, 2013 at 5:56 PM ^

There are times that I wish StatSheet kept call statistics on football referees in the NCAA like they do for basketball, but I am still not sure what it would tell you. 

Not that it really means much, but TeamRankings does keep stats on penalties per game - Michigan State rings in with 7.5 penalties on average this year, up from 5.8 in 2012. What would be interesting to track is the mix of those penalties.

I would rather not rely on the attentiveness of the referees, but it would be interesting to go back through MSU's last several seasons and get an idea of which calls are more prevalent in their games. 



October 24th, 2013 at 5:59 PM ^

Sadly no they won't. I'm guessing you missed the announcement yesterday from the B1G officially sanctioning an unfairly called game against Michigan. Delaney was quoted as saying "in my family you try and HELP your little brother and the B1G is my "family" so I've instructed the refs to do what they can do to ensure an MSU win on Saturday.

Sucks I know but what can you do?


October 24th, 2013 at 6:04 PM ^

This game has "loss" written all over it.  So much so, that I believe the coaching staff will open up the playbook and we will score a ton of points.  Accordingly, we will win easily.  Does that make sense? 


October 24th, 2013 at 6:15 PM ^

Probably not but I'm not as worried as I thought I would be. 28 points. 1 turnover. If we score 28 points and have 1 turnover or less I believe we win the game. Our defense is made to play against MSU. I think it will be the toughest defense they've seen this year ( yeah Iowa, whatever) because of the rivalry. I think they fall flat and I think we are able to pass and open up a run game eventually. Call me crazy, I think we win.