Replay Critics Do Not Support Michigan In Anguishing Loss To Michigan State

EAST LANSING – Michigan recorded 552 attacking yards, intercepted two passes and registered three sacks. But the Wolverines did poorly against Michigan State in a stat not found in the box score: they were 0 for 6 on replay reviews.

A canceled appeal was particularly costly in Michigan’s 37-33 loss at Spartan Stadium on Saturday.

With 1:31 left in the second quarter, Michigan’s David Ojabo sacked Michigan State quarterback Payton Thorne at the Spartans three-yard line, forcing a fumble in the process. Aidan Hutchinson dove for the ball in the end zone and the referees signaled a Michigan touchdown.

The piece has been reviewed.

“Upon examination, the quarterback’s right shin was down with football control,” referee Ron Snodgrass told the crowd.

Michigan State retained possession and two games later kicked. Michigan kicked off the possession that followed just before half-time.

The two Wolverines at the heart of the reverse game had similar views on what happened.

“I haven’t seen him,” Hutchinson said after the game when asked about the call. “It’s like that. Games over. I can’t change it.

Ojabo said: “The referees have made their choice. Obviously I would have liked there to be a (touchdown). But we have to keep moving forward, keep fighting. This is how it goes. I can’t dwell on something.

There were five other pieces that needed criticism. In the opening play of the second quarter, running back Kenneth Walker III rushed for a 29-yard touchdown to put Michigan State on the board. He lost the ball just after crossing the goal line; a replay confirmed the call to the field.

Back-to-back games for the third quarter have been reviewed: one has been confirmed; the other was knocked down. Both resulted in completions in the state of Michigan. The training capped off with a touchdown from Walker for which a replay was used to confirm he had broken the plane.

The final replay was rolled out early in the fourth quarter, after Michigan State tied the game at 30 with a successful two-point conversion. Officials determined that Jayden Reed actually did the reception before having the ball taken out.

After the game, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh was asked if he would like to share his thoughts on the critics. “No, I made my thoughts known throughout the game,” he said, indicating the one-sentence responses he had throughout his press conference.

A game that was not reviewed – because the rules say it was not a reviewable game – frustrated Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara. On the 4th and 3rd with 1:47 to go and Michigan four points, McNamara threw Cornelius Johnson, whose course may have been hampered by a Spartan defenseman.

“I thought it was PI (pass interference), honestly,” McNamara said. “We had a quick ‘in’ concept called. The guy I’m reading flew to the apartment and he just hit CJ, and I was throwing at CJ, so I don’t know what it wasn’t called.

Michigan State took over with 41 and forced Michigan to use their three timeouts. Michigan recovered the ball but McNamara’s second pass was intercepted, sealing the Spartan victory.


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