Well, Mark Dantonio and Michigan State got the Pac-12 office to admit a mistake was made at the end of Saturday’s game against Arizona State, but it doesn’t change the outcome of the game.
Michigan State fell by a score of 10-7 to Arizona State on Saturday, dropping to 2-1 on the year and losing a second-straight game to the Sun Devils. The end of the game was marred by plenty of dispute, though, urging Dantonio and the Spartans staff to call the Pac-12’s attention to it.
As time was winding down, Michigan State trotted on its field goal unit in an attempt to tie the game and send the contest to overtime. Matt Coghlin drilled a 42-yard attempt, knotting the game at 10-10 and essentially sending the game into an extra frame. But the Spartans had too many men on the field, a play that was reviewed, and negated the attempts.
On the second try, Coghlin was way off the mark and the Spartans lost the game. But an Arizona State defender jumped over Michigan State’s offensive line, an illegal move in college football. That penalty was not spotted and the game was over.
Dantonio said he planned to submit a few plays after the game, saying “I think they need to take a long, hard look at the officiating.”
Now, the Pac-12 has acknowledged the mistake made at the end of the game. From the Pac-12:
The Pac-12 Conference acknowledged an error in officiating during the final play of the Arizona State at Michigan State game on Saturday, Sept. 14…
With 0:11 remaining in the fourth quarter and the ball on the Arizona State’s 24-yard line, Michigan State attempted a field goal that was good, but nullified due to a penalty for Illegal Substitution for having 12 players on the field.
After the five-yard penalty was assessed that moved the ball to the 29-yard line, Michigan State again attempted a field goal with 0:06 remaining that was no good as time expired. However, there should have been a foul called for leaping. An Arizona State defensive player took a running start and leapt over the kicking team’s line in an attempt to block the kick. In the process, he leapt into the frame of the body of an opponent. The penalty would have been 15 yards from the previous spot and an automatic first down.
In this case, it would have been administered as half the distance to the goal and Michigan State would have been provided one untimed down.
It’s great that the Pac-12 acknowledged that there was an error in officiating, but it doesn’t change the outcome. The Spartans are still 2-1 on the year and have fallen out of the top 25.
Fortunately — if there is a fortunately in this situation — it was not a conference game. Michigan State will start with a clean slate as it opens B1G play on Saturday against Northwestern.