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HALFTIME: MSU 10, Iowa 3

The Spartans are leading, but all anyone can talk about right now is the end-of-half debacle that quickly evoked shades of a similar situation in the 2005 Ohio State game.

With 12 seconds left and just no timeouts remaining, Andrew Maxwell completed a 19-yard pass to Keith Mumphery in the middle of the field and the clock stopped with 6 seconds. MSU scrambled to the line to spike the ball … or some of the Spartans did. Some of the field goal unit ran onto the field, with an assistant coach dragging one player back to the sideline. Maxwell was on the sideline and tried to hurry onto the field, and Le’Veon Bell went under center to try and salvage a spike. Instead, the clock ran out and the clown cars ushered the Spartans back to the locker room to the tune of Yakety Sax.

Mark Dantonio just shook his head and smiled during his halftime interview at the absurdity. At least he didn’t blast his assistants like someone once infamously did in a similar situation.

That summed up a pretty odd bunch of play-calling in the first half. MSU got a powerful 14-yard TD run from Le’Veon Bell and a 24-yard Dan Conroy field goal. Bell has 63 yards on 16 carries, and Maxwell is 6 of 10 for 101 yards. But there were a number of brutal calls, such as a third-down option for backup QB Connor Cook and three straight runs before the field goal with MSU deep in Iowa territory.

Iowa has just 65 yards of total offense, with Mike Meyer’s 23-yard field goal the Hawkeyes’ only score.

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35 Responses to HALFTIME: MSU 10, Iowa 3

  1. avatar Breadtruck86 says:

    Wow. Stuff happens, but that whole last drive was ugly.

    Our defense is playing very well, but what’s up with Norman? That seems like a real mystery. Whatever is wrong, find more ways to get Kyler Elsworth on the field, he creates some real mayhem whenever he’s in the game. Iowa was slowly gaining on our defense as the second quarter progressed. It may help to try to keep them off the field for more than ten minutes this half. The D may need a turnover or two to help the offense win the game.

    Bell looks tired, in a way that is scary for the upcoming three weeks of our schedule. Shades of Freshman year, when he got run down midway through the year.

    The penalty call on Caper in the first quarter was ridiculous and killed a good drive.

    We’ll have to grind it out, but we can’t start the way we did on offense. A weak call on third and five to start the half.

  2. avatar marky mark says:

    Pretty impressive for a homecoming game!!

  3. avatar GIJOE says:

    Dantonios a genius challenge for 1 yard

  4. avatar MayoSpartan says:

    13-6 is a far cry from 20-6 … a confident well oiled machine is somewhere, but not MSU’s Offense six games in to the season.

  5. avatar Vanilla Ice says:

    worst coached team in the Big 10 = MSU. Why would you have Maxwell throwing the ball with a 7 point lead and Bell in the backfield? Why would you play man defense on a 3rd and 26? Horrible coaching. Dantonio should be doing a JLS slap.

  6. avatar ScaTr says:

    Pitiful! All Maxwell and coaches in this one.

  7. avatar Vanilla Ice says:

    Season Over. The Dantonio era is officially a failure. He had two great teams that would win despite his bad coaching, but couldn’t get to the next level with his bad decisions always weighing them down. No Rose Bowl, no BCS games, OSU and UM regaining dominance, opportunity over, time to get a new coach.

    • avatar SteveL says:

      Recruiting anywhere from 25-35 nationally will not bring you any more results then what we have seen on the field. The coaching staff is terrible. It is MD who won’t replace coordinators when they are not doing the job. What else needs to be said?

    • avatar GoSt8Go says:

      That’s just the dumbest words written today. If you’re a troll, beat it. If you’re a Spartan fan, turn in your card because you don’t deserve it by tossing these words in the face of adversity.

      • avatar Spartan 81 says:

        Looking back on the memory of 2010 and 2011
        the Rocket and Little Giant games we shared ‘neath the stars above;
        For a moment all the world was right.
        How could I have known this Rose Bowl would ever say goodbye?

        And now, I’m glad I didn’t know
        the way 2012 would end, the way it all would go.
        Our lives are better left to chance;
        I could have missed the pain,
        but I’d have had to miss the dance.

        On December 3rd I held everything.
        For a moment wasn’t I the king
        If I’d only known how the king would fall,
        Hey, who’s to say – you know a different call in Indy might have changed it all.

        And now, I’m glad I didn’t know
        the way it all would end, the way it all would go.
        Our lives are better left to chance;
        I could have missed the pain,
        but I’d have had to miss the dance.

        Yes this season is better left to chance
        I could have missed the pain but I’d have had to miss the dance

    • avatar MGoBlow says:

      How does it feel to be the mandated hire on college gameday, purse boy? U are a joke – almost as bad as your friend w/ benefits, bowtie.

  8. avatar ScaTr says:

    Calling Coach D a failure is a little irrational, BUT 3 home losses in first half of season is inexcusable.

  9. avatar TyInMuth says:

    I agree 100% with Vanilla Ice – 2nd & 6 and we throw (2) consecutive passes? Where was the jet fake with Mumphrey to open things up for Bell? Why on God’s holy earth were we in man coverage on 3rd & 26. Who are the leaders on this team? Why can we NOT get pressure on th QB and can someone pull Gholston and Adams’ heads away from the pre-season press clipings to inspire some mediocre play from either of them!

  10. avatar Breadtruck86 says:

    This is what happens to you when you execute poorly for a whole game. You loose when you should have won. This loss is completely on the offense and their coaches. The execution was poor all day, the end of the first half was a difference in the final score, and the play calling was again a mystery. Bell gets eight yards a carry running wide on consecutive plays to start overtime and you respond running straight ahead for three plays? Idiocy.

    This was a big loss, and our team chemistry (already bad) is going to really suffer because of it.

    Once again, the defense played well enough to win, and the team should have. Once again, not a game breaker to be seen other than possibly Burbridge.

    Looking forward to basketball season, because it looks like we will just have to tolerate this team going forward.

    • avatar CSpartan says:

      Absolutely correct on all counts. MSU fans have a right to be upset with this cluster of a loss when we had a ten point advantage and the ball in the second half. Why in the world is Maxwell being given so many chances to throw the ball?? How many times did we go 3 and out because of over or underthrown passes? Iowa absolutely showed us how we should have gotten the job done, by keeping the ball on the ground and chewing yardage with their proven runner. We abandoned that concept right up to the final interception play, and there needs to be some accountability. I don’ t care if it’s Roushar or D’Antonio, but somebody needs to step up and say “We called some bad plays and got away from the plan which we know works. We f’ed up and we owe the fans and the alumni an apology.” I am a true lifelong Spartan fan and I am not saying I won’t watch another game this year, but it is entirely possible I won’t watch another game this year. Disgusting display today by a team that now has 3 home losses and tell me exactly who are they going to beat on the remaining schedule? Gotta run, there is a large bottle somewhere with my name on it…

      GO STATE!!

    • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

      I thought Mumphery & Bell looked good today against a stout Iowa D. Otherwise yes–too many self-inflicted wounds for an injury-depleted offense (“self” including some coaching tactics).

      • avatar GoSt8Go says:

        Good points ’89. Also shouldn’t go so far as to say this is completely on the offense. I was about to go there at the end of 2OT, and then remembered that this is supposed to be an elite defense. They are pretty good, but not elite.

  11. avatar ScaTr says:

    Every position has been held accountable this year (even captains), but one. When will the QB be held accountable?

  12. avatar In Izzo We Trust! says:

    Maxwell looks scared, all the time. The WR’s have dropped too many balls this year. And the coaching staff hasn’t helped at all. That crap at the end of the 1st half was especially telling, when nobody knew if they were gonna kick a field goal, try to spike the ball, or run out the clock. That’s on the coaches. I understand that this was more than likely a year that could go either way, but the offense looks like they still don’t understand the system and/or they just suck. I expected a little more.

  13. avatar MGoBlow says:

    I smell 2009!!!!!!! I’m just glad we didn’t have the halftime interview meltdown from MD, but the coaching & execution are eerily similar to JLS era – that is how far my expectations have fallen. This team & program are exactly what MD said he was going to produce – Iowa Football & we just lost to them. The best this current regime could produce was 2010 & 2011 while A2 slept. Brian Kelly is doing what he has done @ every stop in his head coaching career in major college football – put his team in the top 10 after 3 years @ the helm (Cinci & ND). We are back the tired old hope of all the coaches before MD – if we beat the Walmarts it’s a successful season – so what has changed from Perles to MD? Perles at least got us to the Rose Bowl once. Even the ESPN guys in the booth could see the Roushar was way in above his head. I hope we are all ready to get back the bad old days b/c that is where we are headed. I have been saying that we needed to break through while A2 was down – MD never got the program to the level that was needed w/ the huge opportunity of their split fanbase during the RichRod era that is a 1 off mistake from their program that they won’t make again – so it is a downward trajectory for this team & this program as I see it. We were a football school in the old days, but our administrations/ boards after the Biggie/ Hanna years ruined our football program & let the Walmarts dominate for so long by their continued incompetence that we are now a basketball school. I will no longer get sucked in by glimpses of greatness – never again. Hollis needs to stick w/ what he knows best (basketball) as he & the university made the wrong choice again as head football coach. Nice guys finish last or maybe the middle of the legends division. I love my alma mater, but I am sick of rooting for the Chicago Cubs of college football, my Spartans. On to basketball & Anastos’ hockey team.

    • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

      Shades of ’09 or ’06 or ’02? Maybe. But I think the crap on the windows of today has distorted your view of the past:

      “2010 & 2011 while A2 slept”? UM went 11-2 last year. Not exactly sleeping.

      “Brian Kelly…” Kelly would’ve come & gone already–and maybe an MSU student videographer would be dead to boot.

      “what has changed from Perles to MD? Perles at least got us to the Rose Bowl once.” First of all, Penn State and Nebraska were added to the conference since Perles did that. More importantly, Perles enjoyed different representational rules. Under those rules, MSU would’ve gone to the Rose Bowl in 2010 and 2011.

      Let’s suppose MSU goes 5-7 this year. And in 2013 and 2014. MD would still have a better winning percentage over eight years than Perles did. (Things went south for George after that.) Unless that actually happens, seems like the Spartans are better off now to me.

      Since Duffy was added to the Ring of Fame today, I won’t disparage him. But if MSU goes 7-5 this year, MD will have a better first six years than Duffy did. They almost certainly won’t win three more games if this week and last week are the new normal. But unless you think John L. Smith was as good a coach as Biggie, we must acknowledge that MD has achieved similar win-loss success with a greater degree of difficulty.

      To be clear, that’s the past. But even now, it’s frankly unfair to blame MD for injuries to half of his starting blockers.

      The Spartans have a lot to do to avoid hideous embarassment next week, imo. The burden of proof’s squarely on them.

      • avatar MGoBlow says:

        U make some good points, but like Biden the other night your arguments are made useless by going too far & over stepping the bounds of good taste. In this case instead of assessing our hire vs the runner up – U use the death of a ND student . . . weak.

        • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

          Perhaps that was in poor taste. But the student had to make the fatal choice of ostracism and losing his job–or risking his life. It is a fact that Kelly put that student in that position. If your focus on the tastelessness of questioning a coach’s judgment on mortal safety is truly in line with your priorities in life, then no reason can reach you on this matter.

          Moving on: What more is there to assess? Kelly would’ve bolted for Notre Dame after the 2009 season with, at best, two 3rd-place BT finishes and maybe CapOne & Outback Bowl wins. Maybe his successor would’ve managed to stay above .500–and maybe he wouldn’t have. What the Administration–including Saint Izzo–apparently decided was that they didn’t want to be burned by a resume-builder like Saban again and went with what looked like a long-term, steady coach.

          But this assumes merit in coulda/shoulda/woulda. I don’t remember much clamor for Kelly after the 2010 game (or season). Why bring up Kelly unless you think MSU can hire him away from Notre Dame? Or failing that, who’s the current alternative to Kelly that the firedantonio.commers would propose?

          Again, I can’t blame you for disavowing MSU football. That’s a fan’s personal choice–and if anything, this team’s underperforming the 2009 team at this point of the season. Depending on the weather next weekend, I might just work outside instead of watching The Game.

          • avatar MGoBlow says:

            W/o the OT prayer that was answered in 2010 – MD would be 0-3 against Kelly & probably should be. Hindsight is always 20/20 (Kelly)! However, it is uncanny that our U has done it twice in the span of 40 years (Stolz vs Switzer comes to mind, now MD vs Kelly). I just get sick to death of the continued mediocrity w/ teasers like last year which never fully satisfy (No Rose Bowl or B1G Champion) then the Perles-like 2012 w/ all the expectations & we are 1 of the biggest disappointments in college football along w/ 1 of our former “great” coaching hires, JLS’ razorbacks! Just the continued disheartening of Spartan Nation which is a long, on going wound that never seems to heal when the program pulls this type of old school SOS “effort.” As MD likes to say this was a program win, well this was a program loss. I’m sick of circling the wagons, the continued adversity, & what did he call it today “Tough Times.” Where’s the supposed program he’s built? Look’s like he had a team of winning players that graduated last year, not a program. Programs are consistent – we can not say that until this group actually plays better than a MAC squad.

  14. avatar mysondave says:

    Embarrassing to watch. Didn’t you just feel that we were going to lose in OT? Unless some changes are made (that certainly includes play calling) this team could end up 6-6. Makes you appreciate Cousins, Worthy, Cunningham, Martin and others all the more. We’ve lost at least two because of coaching. When I get up the courage I’m going to rewatch it. Go Green.

  15. avatar Pops says:

    This MSU team and their coaches have just squandered 4 years of building a program. The coaching by Roushar was awful again. And I don’t want to hear how his team lacks a passing game or the offensive line has injuries. That was simply unimaginative play calling. The defense looked tired at the end. More tired than Iowa. That too is on the coaches. And the confusion that reigned throughout the game is also on the coaches. I guess it was a rainy day INSIDE their heads as well as outside. All in all, a pretty pathetic performance by everyone involved but mostly by the coaching staff.

  16. avatar Westside Spartan says:

    It has to be obvious to anyone watching MSU this season that the offense has performed well below expectations. Even with the loss of Cousins et. al. and the reworking of the O line due to injuries, the Offensive play call is just abysmal. There has to be a change in the O coordinator, hopefully before the end of the season, because if there isn’t, this is the end of the season.

  17. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    Let’s not all go SEC or CMB or AA, step away from the ledge, you are not defined by what the football team does on Saturdays. Anyone who thinks they can do a better job that those presently playing football or coaching in EL, please feel free to apply: what none of you anonymous genius’ care to show up? why am I not surprised. Fowler (as in he stinks up everything he’s a round) and Desmond the little ice cream boy have been jabbing all day taking turns under Vanilla Ice, but while nobody will ever remember who they were, people will remember who these Spartans were.

  18. avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

    Of course UM trolls will come on here pushing a new coach agenda. They still fear Dantonio will continue to make their life miserable. As they always have they fear The Michigan State University as competition. As The Marine points out in his inimitable way none is us self-styled capable of better. We are always are great at stating the obvious but short on solutions. There is no denying the shortcomings observed today, but the only solutions offered are bench all the players and fire all the coaches. I’m sure that will work. And in their places play who? And hire who?
    I don’t know about you but I have limited success at turning sow’s ears into silk purses.

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