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Monday, October 09, 2006

10/9/2006 - Michigan 31-13 Michigan State - 6-0, 3-0 Big Ten

It turned out that all you needed to know about this game came on Michigan's first drive of the day, when MSU jumped offsides five times and was flagged for it twice. Befuddled by Chad Henne withdrawing from center to check into another play -- can he do that? -- the Spartans gave Michigan ten important yards on their first touchdown drive of the day. By jumping offsides. Five times.

And so forth and so on:
  • A personal foul after an extra point.
  • A dropped touchdown pass.
  • A total inability to not rough the kicker.
  • A fair catch at the four yard line.
  • An indecisive kickoff return that ended up at the nine.
  • A useless late hit personal foul that extended a Michigan drive and led to another touchdown.
Michigan fans often bitch about the coaching staff's flaws, and I'm no exception, but in the wake of whatever that was it's clear that there are worse fates than running way too much. Ever since college football entered my consciousness, Michigan State has been dangerous because of its stupidity. Sometimes they're a danger to others because they're too stupid to know they should lose. Sometimes they're a danger to themselves because they're too stupid, period. This was the latter.

And thus I must risk blogospheric cred by aping Simmons and quote Teddy KGB from Rounders: "I feel so... unsatisfied." There's no great joy in watching them run around punching themselves in the face, only a small and petty one. Instead of glorying in the dominating victory of our warrior-poets, I found myself trying to come up with the best way to complete this sentence: "Michigan State is as organized as [adjective(s)] [silly noun] [preposition] [noun phrase]." (Candidates:
  • a horde of coked-up squirrels looking for nuts to nut
  • Dadaist theory as perceived by art history freshmen
  • the unfortunate neural pathways in what purports to be the mind of Mike Gottfried
  • Brady Quinn's bowels in the fourth quarter of the Michigan game
  • the French army.
) Which is nice and all, but, yeah. With the fourth quarter dragging through a series of injuries, TV timeouts, and unnecessary instant replay reviews, I became bored and frustrated with run run run punt.

Bored, and frustrated, and up 31-13, and 6-0. Uh... I'll take it.

Hopefully More Satisfying Bullets:
  • Re: Arrington's controversial catch. The NCAA rulebook does state that "any part of the body" landing in bounds makes your catch legal:
    c. To catch, intercept or recover a ball, a player who leaves his feet to make a catch, interception or recovery must have the ball firmly in his possession when he first returns to the ground inbounds with any part of his body or is so held that the dead-ball provisions of Rule 4-1-3-p apply (A.R. 2-2-7-I-V and A.R. 7-3-6-IV).
    1. If one foot first lands inbounds and the receiver has possession and control of the ball, it is a catch or interception even though a subsequent step or fall takes the receiver out of bounds.
    "Any part of his body" is crystal clear, though the phrasing of the second passage is worrisome. This image shows Arrington did punch his hand down before falling out of bounds, so if a hand is good, the catch is good. Still: it should have been reviewed.
  • I am of the opinion that the holding call on Bihl was pretty lame, especially since the same thing happened to Crable later in the first half and there was no flag.
  • Run run run run run run run. Then run. Well... I guess it worked all right but I worry about trying that versus PSU. The Nittany Lions have been shredded by Minnesota and Notre Dame's passing games. Troy Smith had guys open but threw behind them all day. Without a pass rush and with no one in the secondary performing even adequately, they're ripe for the picking. Conversely, they've shut down the run something fierce.

    This will be the first game all year where running 2/3rds of the time is clearly the wrong decision (assuming we aren't up by three touchdowns again). Will DeBord adjust?
  • Another good day for Breaston, two more drops from Manningham... does anyone notice other than me?
  • Off day for Henne.
  • A lot more time for Oluigbo with Ecker out.
  • Hart should be fine. Adams played; he's fine. Manningham left about halfway through the third. I saw him getting stretched on the sideline like he had a cramp, but reports that he was whisked away after the game with ice on his knee make it sound like something more serious. Also: a friendly tipster said that he saw Manningham on crutches in West Quad.

    If I had to guess -- and I would like to point out that this is speculation and not something you should take as Gospel, in fact you should probably just stop reading this post right now -- I'd say Manningham has a mildly sprained knee and is questionable for this weekend.