'Phantom Call' Has Harbaugh, Karan Higdon Scratching Their Heads

'Phantom Call' Has Harbaugh, Karan Higdon Scratching Their Heads

Football

'Phantom Call' Has Harbaugh, Karan Higdon Scratching Their Heads

EVANSTON, Ill. — It was an odd moment, not just because of the situation Michigan was in, where it was down on the road to Northwestern, despite being heavy favorites coming in.

The Wolverines were mounting a comeback, and quarterback Shea Patterson made a huge play with his feet, rushing for 20 yards, down four points.

But, the play was called back. Why? Holding on Karan Higdon.

However…

Yeah…that’s not holding. Yet, that’s what the call was, and it stood.

After the game, Higdon laughed at the play, saying he never had experienced getting called for holding after being tackled. Beyond that, he never quite got an explanation of why the call was made.

Even more so — he didn’t even realize the call was on him until they were onto the next play.

“I didn’t even know it happened!” Higdon said. “I thought it was on someone else. Then, I got to the sideline, and the coaches were flipping out on the refs. I realized: they must have called it on me! How? I don’t know.”

His head coach Jim Harbaugh, of course agreed — it wasn’t anywhere close to being the right call.

Though he did ask for an explanation. From which he got the clarification that the call was, indeed, on Higdon.

“Yeah, I asked for (an explanation) specifically, so they didn’t come back later and say it was some other player,” Harbaugh said. “Because they called it on 22. They called it on Karan. So I asked the referee, ‘Go ask the side judge, ask who he called it on,’ so there wasn’t some different explanation days from now.

“So, he came back and he said, ‘It was on the running back — holding the linebacker.’ The whole stadium saw that a linebacker tackled our running back. It was a zone read. Faked it to the running back, their linebacker tackled him and then Shea ran for 28 yards. Then they tacked on 10 yards for holding.

“It was a phantom call.”

Nothing much one can do but shrug at this point. Still, Michigan moves to 4-1 on the season after the close call against Northwestern, and will host Maryland this upcoming Saturday at The Big House.

Contact/Follow @WolverinesWire@IsaiahHole

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