It would be understandable if Michigan State coaches, players and fans all write this afternoon's game off as "the pass interference game," especially if the final score doesn't go Michigan State's way. All four of the game's pass interference calls thus far have gone against the Spartans, and while one—a third-quarter call that negated a Darqueze Dennard interception—was entirely legitimate, the other three have been questionable at best.
The latest call came on 3rd and 10 on a play starting at Michigan State's 22-yard-line, and... well, take a look.
During the NBC broadcast, color analyst Mike Mayock spent several minutes grousing about the call afterwards, and longtime referee and Twitter enthusiast Mike Pereira was also less than enthused with the flag:
>>Those that didn't like the PI call in the ND game, I don't blame you. I am on your side. Not enough restriction for a foul.— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) September 21, 2013
These are not meaningless details outside the larger story of the game; these penalties have had a direct impact on the game. Two of the three bad calls have extended Notre Dame drives that led to touchdowns, and in a 17-13 game that's sort of a big deal.