By Jonathan Okanes
Sunday, August 31st, 2008 at 3:13 pm in Last game tidbits.
One of the compelling things about Saturday’s game was there were a handful of plays that proved to be pivotal.
–Michigan State had an apparent touchdown overturned by instant replay after it was ruled that wide receiver Mark Dell trapped a pass in the end zone on 3rd-and-6 in the first quarter. Dell made a sensational play just to make it close, going out in an all-out dive with Darian Hagan defending. I actually was surprised the call was overturned because it appeared to be so very close. I figured it would be ruled as inconclusive.
–On Cal’s touchdown drive in the third quarter, Shane Vereen picked up a first down on 3rd-and-4 from the Bears’ own 30. It came on a screen pass and was very close. The chain gang came out to measure and Vereen just got past the marker.
–True freshman Mychal Kendricks made a play I’m sure he’d like to take back when he bowled over MSU punter Aaron Bates attempting to make a block. It may have been one of the more blatant roughing calls ever. It gave the Spartans another first down, and they scored a touchdown two plays later.
–The biggest play, as I mentioned in an previous post, was Kevin Riley’s pass to tight end Cameron Morrah on 3rd-and-13 from the 49 in the fourth quarter and the Bears hanging on to a 24-21 lead. MSU nose guard Ryan Wheat looked as though he had Riley sacked, but Riley somehow got the pass off and Morrah made a nice catch with Spartans safety Dan Fortener on him.
“It was one-on-one and the guy’s back was turned so I thought Cam had a good chance to make the play,” Riley said.
–Dell caught a 52-yard pass from quarterback Brian Hoyer with Cal defensive backs Brett Johnson and Darian Hagan all over him. It looked as though Dell was sharing possession, but the refs ruled it a catch.