I don't write posts often. I usually only do it when I feel the general content is missing some important position or theme. At this point in time I feel there is something missing in the discussion of last week's game.
What is the identity of this team? Are they a cut-throat team that is going to go for the win and control a game or are they a passive team who is going to rely on their strengths and willing lose battles with the hope of winning the war? Against Nebraska they tried to do both and failed. Why forgo the chance to seal the game on 4th and 2 with an offense that is having arguably it's best rushing day all season, and instead punt the ball to a dynamic QB that has already had multiple HUGE plays? Oh, and did I mention that we have tried this two other times and failed? Yeah... remember UofM, and Iowa? Our defense needed a key stop at the end of each game and wasn't able to get it. So why try against a guy that gashing you for yards (I don't care if they were rushing yards)?
Once the defense is on the field, for some reason we go into attack mode (with a defense that hadn't been able to get to the QB all day). Our secondary starts playing crappy zone coverage instead of a man under with safety help deep. Dantonio admits to calling an all out blitz at the goal line. This puts 8th or 9th string CB Mitchell White one on one at the goal line. WHY? WHY? WHY? You may have faith in the depth of your squad, but how can you tell me Mitchell White 1on1 at the goal line gives you better odds than Le'Veon Bell gaining two yards to seal the game? This blows my mind. As I am now ranting I will leave this topic with this question: Dantonio (or Roushar) showed a complete lack of faith in the offense by not going for it on 4th and 2, will this affect player moral or responsiveness in the final two games?
My final topic in this misconstrued, and poorly organized post: I refuse to take the "high road". The theme of "we can't blame the refs" is wrong. You absolutely can, and I will. I am currently blaming the refs. Hey refs... you blew it. The argument against this stance is "If the offense or defense just make plays, it doesn't matter". My stance, THEY DID MAKE PLAYS. They made great plays, specifically Dennard. How much of a greater play can you ask for than a 94 yard INT return for a TD? That is about the greatest play on paper that you can ask for. Those plays don't matter when they don't count, which is effectively where the refs come in. I cannot count the number of missed holding calls I saw (on both sides) from my bleacher seat. Specifically, Nebraska receivers holding our DB's down field.
My rant finishes with a request for help: If you have the game recorded or a view of our final punt please review the film. The guy sitting in front of me screams "12 men, 12 men" on Nebraska. I didn't have time to count but they definitely had personnel scrambling around with last second additions and guys running to the sideline. If you have a count, put it in the comments.