3. Under 4.5 penalties
The Spartans cleaned up their act with only four penalties and none on a punt. There were the usuals, like holding and pass interference (which was an iffy call to begin with). Even Alante Brown, who somehow keeps earning reps, should have never been in a position to target Rhyland Kelly.
To onside kick with 8:37 left in a one-score game is to make a mockery of the position of head coach of a once-prominent university. It was a bad idea to line up for the onside kick recovery against Rutgers and it was a terrible idea to line up for an onside kick this time, too. There was plenty of time left against a team who isn’t known as an offensive powerhouse, and outside of two drives the whole game, the defense was playing their butts off.
It’s decisions like this that make the effort of the players irrelevant.
Not going for it on fourth-and-1 at Minnesota’s 24 shows me that the coaches either don’t trust the offense or think back-to-back field goals is good enough to win.
Neither of these scenario are acceptable.