Agony of Defeat: Michigan fails to show up in East Lansing until the very end, nearly gets away with it

Sonofa.....

First off congratulations to Michigan State on winning the football game.  Frankly, I'm not sure if our football team has any feet left after we shot them all off yesterday, what more can you say?  In a game that featured approximately 54 minutes of woeful offensive ineptness coupled with periods of alternating defensive brilliance and stoutness-resembling-that-of-a-wet-noodle, it's difficult to imagine that we forced it to overtime.  Consider that after the first quarter, State had tallied somewhere around 150 yards of offense to our none and you'll get an idea of how things were going for the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday.  Yet, despite all of  the missed opportunities, the turnover on State's 10 yardline, the failure to punch our first possession forward in any way from their 14, and Zoltan's mind-bending decision to take off from inside our own 20, and our rage-inducing ability to let a team convert on 3rd and long time and again, there we were with a chance to walk out of East Lansing at 5-0.  Arg indeed.  

Miscellaneous

- If anyone can explain Mark Dantonio's in-game decisions yesterday, you go ahead and let me know.  Between his insistence on switching his QBs on a whim and going into super-shell mode at the end of the football game that gave us those opportunities to come back I was continually thinking to myself "what the @#%@ is he doing?"  Sure he's going to be an insufferable imbecile for the next year, but who cares? 

- Going for two at the end of regulation never entered my mind.  Why would you when you have all of the momentum in the football game?  

- If an Irish fan ever complains about the refs again, they should have their face caved in by all bystanders.  What happened to Washington in that game was criminal.

Offense

- Carlos Brown and Brandon Minor combined for ten carries.... TEN @#%@#% CARRIES!  Of my "um, excuse me coaching staff, would you mind addressing this?" questions from this football game, this is at the top of the list.  That Carlos Brown touched the football eight times total is CRIMINAL.  I mean, I have no explanation for it, none.  Brown deserves to touch the football 20 times a game, period.  He's the most explosive player on the field, feed him the ball.

- The offensive line had its worst performance of the year, I haven't re-watched the game (and to be honest I won't) but we had absolutely no movement off the line and more often than not they were blown off the ball.  State dominated the line of scrimmage.  Though it does at least appear that we've worked out the snap issue.

- I hate being one of those people who questions play-calling, but you pick off State to start the game and have the ball inside their 15 yardline...  very next play should be taking a shot at the end-zone.  That was an eerily similar start to last year's OSU game, except this time we at least managed 3 points...

- If Michigan had come out on top of this thing, we'd be talking about that 92 yard drive in the rain with no timeouts for many moons to come.  Angry though I am about the loss, I'll take our football team and this quarterback every day of the week and twice on Saturdays thanks.  That Michigan played approximately 5 minutes of offensive football and nearly won this thing... well it's just ridiculous is what it is.

- Tate Forcier also got away with MURDER on two throws during that drive... the first one to Junior Hemingway that Junior essentially just took away from the Spartan DB and then the second to last play into the endzone where he appeared to shoot a free-throw towards the back line and miraculously did not have it picked.  Moxy?  Boatloads.  Living on the edge?  Yes.  He made a poor decision that bit us in the very end, but you take the bad with the good at this point, if it weren't for Tate picking the team up on his shoulders we don't even make it to OT.  Not letting him off for the pick, but let's realize that without him this wasn't even a contest yesterday.  I'll flat out take him over every QB in the league without even blinking... and he's a true freshman.

- I want us to let Denard Robinson throw the football.  I had no problem with him coming in the game, we had done NOTHING on offense up to that juncture so why not?  But if you're going to put him in, you have to let him throw.  Make the plays really easy one sided reads with a quick check down for God's sake, but let him throw it!

- Another quietly solid football game from Martavious Odoms, I really really like how he plays the game.  Roy Roundtree!  Welcome Sir!  Junior Hemingway, where have you gone?!  Daryl Stonum had me thinking all kinds of poor thoughts prior to his outstanding 60 yard touchdown... that, however, does not preclude me from saying this: HOLD ON TO THE FREAKIN' FOOTBALL.  I'm surprised we didn't try more down-field passing early in the game, I know there was lots of pressure, but that matchup favors our receivers every single time.  Greg Mathews was pretty much unheard of the whole day.

- I can't be the only person who thought at halftime, "we're going to make a couple of adjustments and pop the clutch on the offense here to start the 3rd quarter."  If anyone noticed any offensive adjustments, please point them out to me.

- I'm not naming names on this one, but blatant drops are like white-hot fire pokers to the soul.

Defense

- I don't really know what to say... to give up 20 points based on all of that yardage and time of possession was a great effort.  BUT, to give up all of that yardage and time of possession was agonizingly awful considering how many 3rd and a million's we gave up.  If the D managed to get off the field even half of the time it had the chances to, we win this thing going away.  That sounds overly critical, but it gets back to the whole argument of "number of trials", the offense needed more plays, and the D didn't deliver in that area enough.

- Hey, pressure on the QB!!!  Alright!

- Hey, rushing three on 3rd and 17.... hide the sharp objects.  My cat vomited right after that play, possibly due to noise level in the house, but I prefer to think that even he was able to recognize just how stupid that was and was made physically ill by it.

- Brandon Graham must've finally decided that despite being held blatantly on every play that he was just going to get to the QB regardless.  A couple of outstanding plays by him yesterday.  He also broke that felon Winston in half on 3rd and goal after our "fake punt", nicely done.

- We held their passing game in check, something I don't think many of us would've ever predicted heading into the game.  We also reverted even further in our tackling...  which is enraging.  Way too many freakin' missed tackles, including the final one.  Those are also like white hot fire pokers to the soul.

- Stevie Brown continues to be the most consistent player in the LB corps, which, awesome.  This is just based upon what I saw during the game again, but Jonas Mouton continues to be out of position more often than not and on big plays too....  I don't have a fix for this, but the coaches really, REALLY need to figure one out.  I thought Ezeh played better, but again I wasn't paying attention to where he was on every play.

- Did Cissoko even see the field?  I thought JT Floyd played pretty well, better than his debut performance without a doubt.

- Several of our safeties have a terrible habit of simply running into people rather than, you know, tackling them.

- Holding that team to 20 points should've been more than enough.

Special Teams

- Jason Olesnavage, good job man, has been more than reliable thus far.

- Zoltan Zoltan Zoltan Zoltan Zoltan... even Space Emperors aren't immune from momentary lapses of reason apparently.... Jesus Tapdancing Christ what were you thinking?  Yeah we held them to three... which uh, would've been a nice three to have back with 2 seconds to go in the game no?  By the way, the spot on Forcier's scramble that lead to that "punt" was criminally bad, but that's beside the point.

- Stonum is unbelievably lucky that guy was out of bounds when he recovered his fumble... young man, this is not 2008, hold on to the football (again).

- I think we're going to block a punt next week, we've been oh-so-close quite a few times this year, so I'll go out on a limb and call for it here.

Summary

- 4-1 after 5 games would've had a lot of people thrilled back in August...  After seeing how we lost that "1" though, I'm disappointed.  Not in a stupid way, just disappointed.  5-0 was well within our grasp.

- Our perfect OT record is now ruined, arg.

- This week's game is enormously important now, which, duh.

- GIVE CARLOS BROWN THE FOOTBALL, PLEASE, I'M BEGGING YOU.

GO BLUE!

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