Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, October 7, 2014

This is interesting: Nebraska coach Bo Pelini has accused the Michigan State defense of clapping to disrupt the snap count in last Saturday's game in East Lansing.

On the Big Ten coaches teleconference Tuesday, Pelini said MSU clapped to disrupt Nebraska's snap count. The Cornhuskers were called for three pre-snap penalties, two false starts and a delay of game.

Pelini said by clapping, the Michigan State defense violated NCAA rules.

"That's something I'll talk to the league office about," Pelini said.

Listen to Pelini's full teleconference:

Check out Mark Dantonio's response below.

What does the NCAA rulebook say on pre-snap defensive regulations? Rule 7, Section 1, Article 5, Subpart A states:

"No player shall use words or signals that disconcert opponents when they are preparing to put the ball in play. No player may call defensive signals that simulate the sound or cadence of (or otherwise interfere with) offensive starting signals. An official shall sound his whistle immediately." sent a request for clarification to Bill Carollo, the Big Ten's coordinator of officials, and Big Ten spokesman Scott Chipman answered by noting that clapping is not specifically part of it.

"In general," Chipman said, "if a player is using words or signals to disconcert an opponent, there would be a warning and then a penalty if it continued."

OK, let's get back to Saturday night. Michigan State won, 27-22, but penalties incurred because of supposed illegal clapping were the least of Nebraska?s issues in the game. First, the Huskers fell behind 27-3 in the fourth quarter before a late rally fell short. An ineffective offense also was an issue for the Huskers, who ran for just 47 yards with star Ameer Abdullah running 24 times for 45 yards.

I just am not sure what good it does for Pelini to bring something like this up in public. You wonder if Pelini would have mentioned this if Nebraska had won the game.

About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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