After the instant classic 30-27 double overtime win by Ohio State Saturday, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh blasted officials and said the Wolverines were wronged.
He said several calls and no-calls went against Michigan (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten, No. 3 CFP) Saturday, including a favorable spot that gave Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett a first down on a keeper on fourth-and-short in the second overtime. If Barrett hadn’t made it, the game would have been over and Michigan would have won. Instead, the Buckeyes’ Curtis Samuel ran it in from 15 yards out on the next play to clinch one of the greatest games in the storied rivalry’s 113-year history.
“I’m bitterly disappointed in the officiating,” the characteristically blunt Harbaugh said. “I can’t make that more clear.”
Reporters asked Harbaugh some other questions, but most of his answers were more complaints about the refs.
“Multiple holding penalties let go,” he said. “Multiple false starts. The official on my side who is supposed to be watching that is concerned about whether our coaches are in the white or not in the white,” referring to the restricted area on the sideline. “(Ohio State) coaches were on the field, practically in the huddle at times.”
Harbaugh said the pass interference call against safety Delano Hill that extended an Ohio State (11-1, 8-1, No. 2 CFP) drive in the fourth quarter was a “gift.” And he complained about an unsportsmanlike conduct flag against him in the third quarter that helped set up an Ohio State touchdown that cut Michigan’s lead to 17-14.
The loss ended Michigan’s hopes for a Big Ten title and likely spoiled its national playoff hopes, although some will argue the Wolverines still belong among the top four teams.
“Along with Alabama, we are arguably one of the best teams in the country,” quarterback Wilton Speight, who started the game after being sidelined for an injury to his non-throwing shoulder. “I think the chance at the playoff is slim to none now. It stinks that that will be our last shot to play these guys.”
Asked to make a case for the inclusion of his team, Harbaugh said: “We make our case on the field. I’m not here to make any arguments or cases. Our team has done everything it can possibly do and done it well.”
Republished with permission from the Associated Press.