Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio sure went for it against Ohio State. And he sure paid the price.
With less than five minutes left, 3-7 Michigan State scored to go within a point of 2nd ranked Ohio State. Seeking a big upset, Dantonio decided against the (almost) guaranteed extra point and decided to go for two and take the lead. It was certainly high risk/high reward but it came out about as bad as you could expect as a Michigan State fan.
After the interception, Ohio State got the ball but was unable to move the ball. On the ensuing Michigan State possession, QB Tyler O’Connor threw a late interception and the game ended in a 17-16 Ohio State win.
Naturally, fans and football analysts quickly criticized Dantonio’s decision to go for two. After the game, ESPN talked about the decision and agreed that it was the wrong move.
While there were some valid points, despite knowing the outcome, Dantonio made the right move in going for two.
Michigan State is 3-7 and are a home underdog, facing the 2nd ranked team in the country. Overtime is a crapshoot and while your defense was great all game, your offense hasn’t been good at all. You have the opportunity to go for 2 and take the lead and then use your defense to stop Ohio State. The only change I would’ve done was run on the 2 point conversion than throw because the run game with LJ Scott was going well.
Even in the worst case scenario, you’re behind by 1, your defense makes the stop and you still have enough time to have a chance on offense to take the lead. That was exactly what happened and Michigan State threw a game ending pick.
Maybe Michigan State wins on overtime, maybe Ohio State kicks a last second field goal and win in regulation. We’ll never know. All we know is that Mark Dantonio made a game-altering decision where if it failed, he’s an idiot and if it’s successful, he’s a genius. It failed and he was an idiot, but he still made the right move.