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Quick Observations from NU-OSU

Some quick observations from my re-watch of the Northwestern vs. Ohio State game:

- The personal foul penalty on Nick VanHoose along the sideline was indeed bogus: the official blew the whistle after VanHoose had lifted the OSU receiver into the air mid-tackle. What he did was legal as long as it is before the whistle, and in this case it was.

- Will Hampton did come back into the game after he was injured earlier, so hopefully all is good with him given the thin depth at defensive tackle.

- The kick catch interference on CJ Bryant was very questionable; the OSU return man didn't line up the ball well and was clearly coming down in front of him. Bryant began his tackles (wrapping up the legs) simultaneous to when the ball hit the ground in front of the return man. This very well could have gone the other way (not called a penalty), though OSU did end up with the ball after it was loose.

- Not sure why Trevor Siemian forced the ball to that spot on his interception; OSU was in press coverage on the outside receiver at the set and he clearly had a chance to see that.

- 2 of Siemian's 5 sacks did come against blitzes, 1 came against a 4 man rush, and 2 against 3 man rushes. Though one of those 3-man rushes was on the second-to-last play of the game where he did indeed trip over one of the offensive lineman's legs.

- On the Kain Colter fumbled snap under center and failure to convert on fourth down: it looks like he got distracted by a defender (Shazier) quickly coming to the line to fill a gap and trying to time the snap (maybe Colter was going to go to the left, where he was coming in). The camera angle that looks like he gained the first down was from the rear, and I think it was because the first down and line of scrimmage lines superimposed on the screen were not in the correct positions (in one of the replays you can see them shift). Also, Colter's knee went down while the ball was lose and it is a close call if he got his knee off the ground when he gained possession of the ball. In any case I think the officials got this one right and it was a tough call (I would put the blame on play calling here).

- And now for the last play of the game, or: why you should never gamble. On the second lateral (from Christian Jones to Venric Mark), the ball appears to travel slightly forward, which should be a penalty for an illegal forward pass. The official closest to the pass should have been able to see it but very well may have been watching other players in the vicinity. If this was called, from my understanding of the rules the ball would become dead due to the illegal forward pass (and it would be a 5 yard penalty from the spot plus loss of down; the clock would have expired). Additionally, on the following lateral (Mark back to Christian Jones) the ball is touched by Jones and tipped backwards towards the end zone. Jones makes a nice play to try and regain position for the ball and actually jumps on it, but it gets pushed away from him while the OSU player jumps over him to grab the ball. There were many ways that the play could not have ended in a TD (penalty called: game over, Jones catches the last lateral cleanly and is tackled: game over, Jones recovers loose ball in end zone: safety, or ball goes out of end zone: safety), but this is what happened.

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