Glendale, Arizona. – Whether or not the game will play the same way. Nobody really knows.
But Michigan had seven key points wiped from the scoreboard early in the second quarter of Saturday’s Fiesta Bowl loss to Texas Christian, Final game 51-45 at State Farm That made Jim Harbaugh’s team need seven more points to claim victory.
Receiver Roman Wilson later told reporters, “I thought I was on the inside, but I can’t see on the outside.”
But officials thought differently. Here’s what happened: Michigan just took advantage of Rod Moore’s interception of a player earlier when quarterback JJ McCarthy dropped back to pass and hit Wilson with a wide open line up the middle of the field.
Wilson, who had five catches for 104 yards and a touchdown, initially dribbled the football before running down it and falling on the goal line. The catch was originally called a touchdown by the officiating crew before a replay review overturned the call.
“I wasn’t really upset, I was just glad I was able to get out there and put on a play,” Wilson said. “I had a lot of confidence that we would score next, but we didn’t. I had confidence that we would do it again.”
Instead, on the next play, backup running back Calel Mullings outdid the left hash and fumbled the football as he navigated across the line of scrimmage—a turnover that earned Michigan zero points instead of seven.
The SEC officiating staff was not available for comment after the game, but a Fiesta Bowl spokesperson told MLive that any overturned calls were at their discretion and judgment for the restart.
“I’m going to take a good look at it,” coach Jim Harbaugh said after the game, opting not to comment on the overturned call or replay targeting before the final game.
TCU never converted their next run into points, perhaps negating any negative impact from the call, but six points loomed late when Michigan was trying to comeback late in the game. The Wolverines had the ball twice in the fourth quarter, getting the ball back with less than a minute left.
But mistakes early on, exacerbated by a failed fourth-and-goal call, and Mullings’ ensuing goal-line fumble, proved too much.
“It happens. It’s football. It’s life,” offensive lineman Trevor Keegan said. “We had to play on the goal line there and bomb it. That’s what we’ve been doing all season; There’s no excuse for us not getting it there.”
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