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Fall’s Tarts Week 8: College Football Is Gonna Try Again Next Week

The dumbest, silliest things that happened in our favorite sport this past week

NCAA Football: Virginia at Georgia Tech
This game was a buffet.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The downside of “living to fight another day” is that you do have to take the L and regroup.

The upside of “living to fight another day” is that you’re still alive.

Truly a “six of one half dozen of the other” proposition.

I’m going to give myself an honorary Tart for having this column outlined halfway through Monday and not finishing it until mid-Wednesday. However, I didn’t have the best College Football Internet Faux Pas.

Sparty Serves Up The ‘W’ In Advance

Both Michigan and Michigan State had a bye last week to get ready for their rivalry game. As the teams prepared, social media accounts used the extra week to stir up even more shit than varying degrees of success.

Ohio State deals with hating Michigan by crossing out all the “M”s in everything, and while this is silly, the biggest laugh you can have at their expense is when they don’t get every single “M.” Michigan State decided to innovate and tweeted out a graphic featuring Michigan’s logo upside down.

Evidently, nobody looked at the graphic before putting it out on social media, because they’d have noticed that an upside-down M is a W.

Damn, Sparty, do you need Kenneth WMalker III to do your tweets as well?

The Boilermaker Special Is Sorry For Party Rocking

Ahead of Purdue‘s contest in Madison against Wisconsin, they brought out the True Mascot: the Purdue Special.

At 10:15PM Friday night, it generated a police report for an excessive noise complaint.

The Three Yard Line Suits Me Just Fine

Last Thursday, Georgia Tech hosted Virginia in one of the sloppiest games I’ve seen in recent years. This only further validated my belief that average NFL football is less fun than bad college football, because I found myself watching an awful game on Thursday night and felt compelled to watch it through the end. This entire game could have been a tart if not for several exceptional moments. One late drive featured a first down courtesy of a leaping penalty on a punt and then an illegal touching penalty.

In total, there were six turnovers in the game. The teams combined to go 8 for 35 on third down. Just before half, Georgia Tech cut the lead to 13-9. The second half would feature just three total points.

I, however, would like to focus on what happened after the Yellow Jackets’ field goal. WIth 24 seconds left in the half, Virginia may have been content to go into the locker room with a 4 point lead, but their offense had the explosive potential to maybe get a quick touchdown. Kick returner Demick Starling made the choice very easy.

With nobody around him, Starling caught the ball (without the fair catch signal) and kneeled it down at his own 3 yard line. Of course, because this was the game that it was, Georgia Tech only had one timeout left, so the Cavaliers got away with this, but what an incredible choice!

Bartleby The Scrivener On Three

We’re still in the GT-UVA game. Tech backup quarterback Zach Gibson has gone 10 for 25 for under 100 yards, but is trying to lead a last second drive with a seven point deficit. With the clock running and six seconds to go, Gibson took a shotgun snap, rolled left, kept his eyes downfield as the clock hit zero, and then just decided to live to fight another day and step out of bounds to avoid the hit.

Game over.

The title of this Tart comes from Spencer Hall. There’s no more perfect name for this play than “Bartleby The Scrivener.” Zach Gibson could have thrown it down the field, but he preferred not to.

No, seriously. This is what he said when asked about it.

“As I evaded the rush and started moving to my left, I looked downfield and just didn’t really see a throw at all. I didn’t feel like there was anybody to get it to in that moment. I can’t throw the ball 85 yards, 70 yards, so I mean at that point I just felt like, run out of bounds and take the loss.”

Kudos for the honesty! I’m not going to hold that against him because it really was a pretty hopeless situation with a play that was well-defended in a game situation he hadn’t been in at this level, and it’s not like he spent any time preparing to answer the question. Homie wouldn’t be a scholarship quarterback in the ACC if he didn’t have a good deal of competitive fire. Shit just happens.

Nevertheless, an appropriate ending to that game!

A Digression About Montana State Football.

The last 50 years of Montana State Bobcats football have been a bizarre trip. In 1971, Sonny Holland took the helm of the Division 2 Bobcats, where he had won an NAIA championship as a center on their 1956 team. In year two, he won the Big Sky, but then had three straight second-place finishes. Then, in 1976, his Bobcats beat North Dakota State and Akron on their way to a national championship. I cannot find any information on why he retired from coaching at the age of 39 following a 6-4 ‘77 campaign, but he handed the reins to future Colorado State Rams head coach Sonny Lubick, who had minimal success in Bozeman. Future Rutgers coach Doug Graber spent a season as the MSU head coach in 1982 before Dave Arnold took over.

Arnold was a high school coach in Michigan for 11 years before spending two years as Michigan State’s OL coach and then taking the same position at Montana State in 1982, so this is the level of experience he brought. In his first season, the Bobcats went 1-10 with a 1-6 Big Sky record. In year two, they won their final ten games to claim the D1-AA (FCS) national title with a dominant win over Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. In ‘85, they went 2-9, and Arnold was out after a 3-8 campaign in ‘86.

Arnold was in Bozeman for four seasons, compiling an 18-29 record with one national title. I know, you’re thinking Gene Chizik, but even if you add his 5-19 tenure at Iowa State to his Auburn years, he still put up a lifetime 38-38 record. I defy you to find me a national championsip winning head coach with a worse record.

Montana State didn’t win 8 games in a season again until 2006. Eventually, former Drake coach Rob Ash led them to three years of playoff contention before fading away and yielding to Jeff Choate, who revitalized the program to the tune of an 11-4 semifinalist campaign in 2019. With no 2020 season, Choate apparently got bored enough to accept a job at Texas coaching inside linebackers. Long time Craig Bohl assistant Brent Vigen took over the job and took the Bobcats all the way to the 2021 national title game, where they fell to his alma mater NDSU.

This year, they’ve started off hot with their record marred only by a loss at Oregon State. This past weekend, the #2 Bobcats took on undefeated #5 Weber State. And here is where the digression ends and the next Tart begins:

Weber State Had One Flaw

The Wildcats opened the scoring with a field goal and then stopped the Bobcats, but were forced to punt. Things went awry as the snap went so high and so far that it made it out of the back of the end zone on the fly:

The Bobcats capitalized and scored a touchdown to take a 9-3 lead, but the Wildcats soon took control of the game with three straight touchdown drives stretching into the early second quarter. The game began to stall a bit there, and with 6:36 left in the half, Weber State lined up just outside their own 30 to punt.

It happened again.

Now, this one didn’t get out of the back of the end zone on the fly, but it got over the goal line before bouncing. The punter never had a chance to catch up with it and the score became 24-11.

Once again, Montana State took the momentum and scored Tommy Mellott’s second touchdown of the game to cut the lead to 24-18 with 2:34 left in the half. A three-and-out by the defense would give the offense the chance to take the lead before halftime!

Especially if...something were to...perhaps...go wrong on the snap

Now this snap wasn’t anywhere near as bad as the other two, but that would be difficult considering that they were absolute home run blasts. The punter was anticipating something and was ready, but he didn’t have the vertical to come down with the snap and only managed to get a hand on it. The ball did for a brief moment appear like it was going to stop near the back of the end zone, but the punter just fell on it at full speed to drag it out of bounds for the third safety of the game.

With a minute and a half left, Mellott led another touchdown drive, finding Derryk Snell for the go-ahead touchdown to make it 27-24 Bobcats.

Weber State received the second half kickoff. Make no mistake, they’d earned their #5 ranking. It was time to get down to business.

Unfortunately, business quickly took a downturn as the Wildcats were stopped on third down again to bring up 4th and 12. At this point, if I am the Weber State special teams coach, I might sacrifice one of the up-backs in my punt formation to put a second punter back in my own end zone to play center field in case something should go awry. On the other hand, what are the odds this could happen for a fourth time?


That’s right, this poor punter never had a chance, as Grant Sands fired another bomb from his own 33 yard line right over the guy’s head. With a man in pursuit, punter Jack Burgess decided on harm reduction and kicked it out of the end zone for a fourth safety.

For the fourth time, Montana State would score on the very next drive following a safety on Mellott’s third touchdown run of the day. Weber State would rally for two late touchdowns, but a failed two point conversion left them five points short.

Even if you just add the 8 points they gave up on safeties, they win by three. This accounts for 8 of Montana State’s 43 points. However, 28 of those points came on drives that immediately followed a safety.

I do not believe I will ever again see a team lose like this.

Thicc Cartwheel Penalty

Maryland back Roman Hemby broke the game open against Northwestern with a late 75-yard touchdown run. 330-lb offensive lineman Johari Branch was so turnt by this play that he cartwheeled into the end zone, drawing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct.

Worth it?

Miner Threat

The UTEP Miners won a close contest with FAU despite what I believe to be an injustice. FAU scored a touchdown to tie the game pending the extra point with under 5 minutes to go. However, that extra point was indeed pending! Praise Amaewhule busted through the line to block the kick and did so...with his face! This sent his helmet flying off. He took off running after the loose ball but then pulled up after remembering the helmet-free participation rule. A teammate of his helpfully escorted the ball to the end zone to make the score 23-20 UTEP.

HOWEVER. The officials had to ruin it.

You see, they ruled that because he slightly impeded the path of the FAU kicker before pulling up and out of the way, he participated in the play and therefore the extra point was kicked again.

Fortunately, God did not fall asleep and UTEP won by the correct margin of three points after a go-ahead field goal.


Last week, Tennessee‘s Intimidation Vomit narrowly defeated Fresno State’s glass punching for the Tart Of The Week honors.


Tart of the Week!

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    MSU Serves Up A ‘W’
    (13 votes)
  • 3%
    (11 votes)
  • 1%
    Kneeling at the 3
    (4 votes)
  • 4%
    Bartleby The Quarterback
    (15 votes)
  • 78%
    Weber State Loses By Taking Four Safeties
    (251 votes)
  • 6%
    15 Yards for a Thicc Cartwheel
    (21 votes)
  • 0%
    UTEP Helmet Removal Procedure
    (3 votes)
318 votes total Vote Now