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