The Michigan State Spartans got off to a strong start against the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday afternoon, taking a quick 7-0 lead on a long touchdown run and maintaining an advantage with a field goal after Urban Meyer’s team responded. However, the Spartans did not receive any help from the officiating crew on one particular play in the second quarter, as Michigan State was flagged for a phantom personal foul penalty that makes no sense at all.
As you can see above, the scuffle involved Ohio State’s Mike Weber, but the close-up angle below reveals that the Buckeyes, not the Spartans, should have been flagged for an after-the-play personal foul.
Weber goes digging into the eye of Michigan State’s Montae Nicholson and, inexplicably, the referee positioned right next to the play elects to call the foul on Nicholson, presumably for pushing Weber’s hand away. This is one of the worst calls you will ever see and, because Ohio State entered as a massive favorite, it will do nothing to stop the usual conspiracy theories from taking hold of the proceedings.
Not every call can be correct on the field, but this one was especially ghastly for Mark Dantonio and Michigan State.