Harbaugh Got an Absurd Response From Refs About Pre-Halftime Ball-Spotting

Harbaugh Got an Absurd Response From Refs About Pre-Halftime Ball-Spotting

Football

Harbaugh Got an Absurd Response From Refs About Pre-Halftime Ball-Spotting

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — As Michigan drove the field just before half, the Wolverines were on the verge of scoring the ball, getting down into the red zone.

Yet, Michigan entered the locker room at the half with no points to show for it.

Twitter was abuzz about Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and clock mismanagement, but there was something else that happened.

WolverinesWire actually witnessed this, as we were positioned right in front of the situation on the sideline: Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson threw short to tight end Sean McKeon was was tackled in-bounds, short of the goal line. McKeon rose quickly and tossed the ball to the umpire, who went to set the ball so that Michigan could run another play.

The umpire fumbled the ball quickly, picked it back up and went to re-set it. The ball was then kicked by an Indiana player. The umpire picked the ball back up and moved to re-set it again, but by that point, the 6-8 seconds that had been left on the clock had expired.

Michigan did have a plan in place, as Patterson noted after the game. But, obviously things were derailed by the fumbling of the ball, the kick — all of it.

Thus, Michigan was awarded no points and went into the locker room down for the first time at home all season long.

“We were either gonna kick it or try to get a touchdown, first down,” Patterson said. “If we got the first down, we were gonna try to clock it so we could kick the field goal. Then, I don’t know what happened. The ball – saw the ref scrambling with the ball. They might have kicked it. It was just unfortunate that things like that happened. And we responded to that.”

Say what you will about the plays the preceded that moment and whether or not they should have been run. But Michigan had seemingly plenty of time to line up and snap the ball — the team was all in formation waiting — but the ball couldn’t be snapped due to the aforementioned instance.

Harbaugh says he got an explanation from the officials about the scenario, but, nothing that really did much for his team — considering they didn’t have another chance to put points on the board.

And that explanation was nothing short of preposterous.

“Yeah, I mean, not a great one,” Harbaugh said. “I asked them – ‘Did they kick the ball?’ And the response from the umpire was, ‘He didn’t mean to.’ So, I further asked – that doesn’t seem like a judgment call. The ball was either kicked by one of their players or not. So, that was their response. That he didn’t mean to.

“Had he meant to, then it would have been a (penalty).”

The officiating crew for this game was headed up by none other than John O’Neill — the lead official for Michigan’s controversial 2016 loss at Ohio State.

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