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Posted on Sat, Oct 3, 2009 : 6:55 p.m.

Zoltan's Mesko's fake punt falls short, leads to Michigan State field goal

By Michael Rothstein

EAST LANSING - Zoltan Mesko looked like he was going to make another of his running punts, where he looks like he’s going to take off on a fake only to boot it away.

This time, though, on a fourth-and-one play deep in his own territory, Mesko kept the ball. Michigan State swarmed. And it became another in a litany of decisions and plays that helped Michigan lose to Michigan State on Saturday, 26-20, at Spartan Stadium.

“The same thing happened at the Notre Dame game last year, where I cut inside the block and it was more open,” Mesko said. “This one, the gap closed very quickly.”

Against Notre Dame last year, the call ended in a first down for Michigan. On Saturday, Mesko ended up with a 3-yard loss and a turnover inside the Michigan 15-yard line.

The Wolverines held Michigan State to a field goal, giving the Spartans a 13-6 lead. But, the question of whose decision it was seemed confusing.

At first, Mesko said “it was my option.” Then, when a reporter caught up with Mesko a couple of minutes later, said “it was called.”

“It was kind of crazy cause we had six inches to go,” Mesko said. “But it was deep in our field. I was just - if it pays off it’s like the greatest call on earth.”

Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said Mesko was supposed to punt the ball but has the option for a read.

“He’s supposed to kick it,” Rodriguez said. “It was a read and Zoltan, he’s made that decision very, very well a number of times and that time he just thought he saw a crease, I guess.”



Mon, Oct 5, 2009 : 10:56 a.m.

This play made me want to kick a hole in my TV. Why cant Tate simply sneak for 6 freaking inches. Instead we have that wack swiss cheese punt formation and the slowest guy on the team trying to run 12 yards for whats really only 6 inches. Why is the QB sneak for inches only a guarantee in the NFL? Boo to RichRod putting it all on Mesko, too. It's your fault that he even thinks he's allowed to do that.


Sun, Oct 4, 2009 : 5:20 p.m.

1st clue Zoltan: When you're only able to produce 28yds on the ground, it's probably not a good idea to attempt a fake punt by running. I've got the answer. RR just needs to tell Tate that their is only 2 minutes left in the game every time he takes the field - that ought to yield about 60 pts!


Sun, Oct 4, 2009 : 9:52 a.m.

This kid is Michigan's preseason All-American? That's where we are at - enough said.


Sun, Oct 4, 2009 : 9:52 a.m.

This kid is Michigan's preseason All-American? That's where we are at - enough said.


Sun, Oct 4, 2009 : 9:44 a.m.

I just find it hard to believe that Zoltan made that call to run. It was a crazy decision whoever made it (probably the coaches). You can make an argument that it cost us the game, since it led to a field goal by MSU.


Sun, Oct 4, 2009 : 8:38 a.m.

The fake punt backfired and that's all there is to it. I would prefer never to fake punt that deep in your own territory unless you have a lane as wide as a DC-10 to run through, and I'd rather have one of the up-men, preferably a running back, doing the running instead of a slow punter but that's just me.


Sun, Oct 4, 2009 : 12:07 a.m.

Who is Harlan Sanders?


Sun, Oct 4, 2009 : 12:05 a.m.

I just watched ND edge Washington at home. ND is not a top 25 team -- maybe top 35. Michigan has yet to play a top 25 team in 2009. We have some tough games coming up: Iowa on the road, PSU, Wisconsin on the road, OSU, and a couple other Big Ten teams. The Big Ten schedule is not going to be easy for a very young Michigan team. It will be a grind and we must protect Tate. Without Tate, today's game is not close. It is college football and we must improve. We need a win in Iowa City.


Sat, Oct 3, 2009 : 9:48 p.m.

Mich. has gotta MAN-UP!!We looked a little SOFT out there today the first 3 qtrs.Tate is the MAN but how come our running backs took today off!!?We have to get better b/c the Suckeyes D-fense ain't no joke!! But their ain't no QUIT in us,that's for sure!Good luck next week & GO BLUE!!!


Sat, Oct 3, 2009 : 9:19 p.m.

Mesko runs a lot like Sanders....not Barry, not Dion....but Harlan.


Sat, Oct 3, 2009 : 9:03 p.m.

Wisconsin on the road will be tough, too. In fact, no one will be easy. We struggled against Indiana at home and they are currently getting run off the field by OSU and we just lost to 1-3 MSU. No gimmes. Michigan has to play their best for the entire game, every game to win. They are not good enough yet to overcome the mistakes they are making. They need to play much better next week to have a chance.


Sat, Oct 3, 2009 : 8 p.m.

This is one bad play that help Michigan lose the game. On a day when Michigan D played OK the rest of the team showed up too late to win the game. If anyone watching the Ohio State game they look good. I have Michigan now going 8-4. I think Michigan might lose to Penn State, Ohio State, Iowa, and the today game Michigan State...If the whole team show's up Michigan might win next week, But Michigan has to show up and play good all four quarters. Tate the great....This kid was Great again.. If D Rob can start to pass the ball I look for BIG plays to be open down field. Everyone knows he going to run the ball. Go five wide and let's see how big of an arm this kid has. Michigan 4-1 GO BLUE!!!!