Michigan running back Karan Higdon does not think the spot was good.
The Wolverines lost to rival Ohio State in excruciating fashion last year, and it clearly still stings for some Michigan players. The most controversial play of the game was a fourth-down play in double-overtime. Instead of trying to tie the game and force 3OT, Urban Meyer kept the offense out on the field for fourth-and-1 from the UM 16.
Barrett just barely picked up the first down. It was ruled a first down on the field and the call was upheld after a replay review. Jim Harbaugh went ballistic about the spot, which was subjected to Zapruder film-level scrutiny from conspiracy theorist Michigan fans after Ohio State won on a touchdown run on the very next play.
Almost a year later, Higdon is still peeved.
“I think everyone knows we definitely won that game, hands down,” Higdon said Monday per the Detroit Free Press. “But it is what it is. I can’t change the results. No one can.
“That was on us to put it in the hands of the refs.”
Yes it was, Karan. Michigan led 17-7 late in the third quarter before Ohio State forced overtime with a last-second field goal. The loss cost the Wolverines a spot in the Big Ten title game and a likely College Football Playoff berth.
The stakes aren’t as high this year. No. 8 Ohio State (9-2, 7-1) has already clinched the Big Ten East but, with two losses, is on the outside looking in for the CFP. Michigan (8-3, 5-3) was ranked No. 23 last week, but will likely fall out of Tuesday’s updated CFP rankings after its loss to No. 5 Wisconsin over the weekend.
Still, this is one of the biggest rivalries in college football. Ohio State has won five straight in the series, so Michigan still has a lot to play for. But to halt that streak, the Wolverines will likely be without quarterback Brandon Peters, who is in concussion protocol after taking a big hit in the Wisconsin game. Peters was the third QB to start for UM this year. He replaced senior John O’Korn, who struggled in three starts in relief of junior Wilton Speight, who was the opening day starter but hasn’t played since suffering a back injury against Purdue in late September.
Speight returned to practice last week, but has not been cleared for contact drills. Peters has not been ruled out, but it seems like a safe bet that O’Korn will be under center on Saturday in Ann Arbor.
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