Found November 04, 2012 on Banks Of The Red Cedar:
As the pass from Taylor Martinez floated into the waiting hands of a receiver in the corner of the endzone directly beneath our seats, I can’t say I experienced a whole lot of shock. My son, with the optimism inherent in youth, was a bit crestfallen but all I could do was sigh and think of all the close games that haven’t gone the Spartans’ way this year. Throughout most of the game it appeared as though the Spartans had some residual mojo from the Wisconsin win as the offense was alive. Nothing crazy, but a variety of formations utilized to get Le’Veon Bell some running room, coupled with a sprinkling of deep patterns made it look as though something had clicked. Andrew Maxwell’s numbers on the day were basically horrid(9/27, 123 yds., 1 TD)but some of those bugaboos that have mired this team in mediocrity crept to the fore once again. Drops, fumbles, errant passes landing on open patches of turf(wrong route, perhaps?)all factored into a statistically poor showing in the passing game. Bell was the workhorse, with 36 carries for 188 yards and two touchdowns, and Nick Hill even had a nice carry or two in relief. The production was a bit disjointed, but there was production and an attempt to keep Nebraska off balance. Until the time arrived when creativity and resolve would have served the Spartans best, that is. Running Bell Into Too Many Walls(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images North America)   The defense was not without it’s struggles. Three interceptions makes the case for good pass coverage, and the line pressured and hammered Taylor Martinez early and often, but their Achilles’ heel was the read-option. That defies logic since they have seen that offense numerous times and always done well against it. Regardless, Martinez was able to gash them for 205 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. Put that along side Ameer Abdullah’s 110 yards and you have by far the most rushing yards yielded this season(previous high was 204 yards to OSU). Of course, having a pick-six by Darqueze Dennard called back because Adams threw a legal block(I saw the replay and he hit him head on)but did so meanly I can only suppose, did take a play from the defense which very well could have been the dagger in the heart. Such are the breaks which the Spartans have had to endure this season. Why Don't The Refs Like Me?(J. Scott Park-MLive.com)   Most breaks aren’t granted though, they must be manufactured. When the offense had the ball with 3:12 remaining and sitting at the MSU 40 yard line leading 24-21, the opportunity was there to salt the game away. This was the play selection on that drive: Bell rush for 5 yards, Bell for 8 yards , first down. Bell for 3 yards, Bell for 1 yard, Bell for 4 yards. This play-calling wizardry left the Spartans sitting with a 4th and 2 from the Nebraska 39 and after some fretting the decision to punt was made, giving the ball back to Nebraska with 1:20 remaining. Put it on your defense? If the other team never gets the ball then guess what? THEY CAN’T SCORE. Yes, Bell was great in this game but how many games have to be lost by playing it safe? Five straight rushing plays when you need to kill that amount of time to seal a victory is almost like planning to lose. The game was less ugly on the whole than the other losses but a loss of any kind smells just as putrid. Nothing left to do now but try to scratch out another win or two after the bye week, and hopefully keep building something for next season. The Spartans really don’t have much to lose so maybe we will see them play in that fashion. Close the year out with guns blazing and see what occurs. You miss a lot in life by playing it safe(like a decent bowl game, for instance). Go Green!    
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