You have to give a lot of credit to the defense in this game, and in particular to Chad Jones who made huge plays on 3rd and 4th down on our goal line stand. Here are my snap judgments, subject to change upon further viewing:
- Goal Line Stand!! Holy Freakin' Feces! How can you not love that? Lots of players came up big. None bigger than Chad Jones who knocked down what looked like a sure touchdown pass on 3rd down, and then joined Ryan Baker to make the big 4th down stop that essentially sealed the game.
- Speaking of... Ryan Baker! Backup linebacker coming up huge. I can't figure out why he was in the game, unless we were in a 4-LB formation.
- They really bailed out the offense, and in particular the offensive line, which had an awful game. The running game went nowhere, and Jordan Jefferson was harassed all game. This is quickly becoming THE problem area of this season. It's been a problem in every game, and has not improved one lick from the Wshington game until now.
- We outplayed MSU in the first half but couldn't get any distance from them because of the problems on special teams. Our offensive unit outplayed their defensive unit, and our defensive unit outplayed their offensive unit. We handed them a touchdown on special teams, and also missed an extra point. If not for that, it could have been a 17-7 game at halftime and the whole spirit of the game would have been different.
- I'm not going to name names, but I have a feeling we will not be seeing our previous starting long snapper again for a while.
- MSU outplayed us in the second half, but couldn't make up any ground on us because we got a huge play on the touchdown to Lafell and a big punt return for a touchdown. Other than that, our offense got very little going.
- We had one nice drive in the second half, but it ended when Miles decided not to go for it on 4th and goal from the 2 and we had a bobbled snap on the field goal. Again, special teams errors cost us points.
- Speaking of that play, for the love of whatever deity or abstract concept you follow, please go for a touchdown on 4th and goal from the 2. I know our offensive line got no push al game, but it's worth a shot. Even if you miss it you leave the opposing offense in terrible field position. A touchdown is worth more than twice what a field goal is worth and there's no down side unless disaster strikes, which can happen on any play from anywhere. This is one of my biggest complaints about "conventional wisdom". Unless it's the end of the half or the end of the game, or unless 3 points are particularly important under the circumstances, you should go for it when you're at the goal line. Every time. The mathematics are on your side, even if you AREN'T a good running team (which we aren't).
- We clearly have problems on the offensive line, but I can't tell if that game was simply a matter of an inferior team playing its best game against us, or if we just aren't that good. Thoughts?