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#pounditTuesday, December 7, 2021

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Michigan pushed around Ohio State like Jim Harbaugh dreamed about

Jim Harbaugh walking

Michigan finally broke through under Jim Harbaugh and beat Ohio State 42-27 to improve to 11-1 and win the Big Ten East. The win couldn’t have gone any better than if Harbaugh scripted it.

Michigan beat Ohio State by overpowering them in the exact way that Harbaugh loves. The Wolverines rushed for 297 yards and six touchdowns and absolutely pushed around Ohio State at the line of scrimmage. Team leader Hassan Haskins carried the team with 169 yards and five touchdowns.

This was classic Harbaugh ball, dominating at the line of scrimmage and controlling the game. In past years, and even in the loss to Michigan State, Michigan blew leads late. Not this time.

The Wolverines had four possessions in the second half and scored touchdowns on each one. Even with under five minutes left and Ohio State knowing Michigan would be running the ball, they still couldn’t stop the Wolverines. Michigan ran Haskins five straight times while leading 35-27 and scored a touchdown to effectively seal the game. It was the second drive of the half where they ran the ball every play of the possession and scored a touchdown.

Michigan still completed passes when they needed to and kept Ohio State somewhat off balance, going 14/20 for 190 yards in the passing game. But when it came down to it, they beat Ohio State by running them to death and making big stops on defense. Haskins and his five touchdowns and Aidan Hutchinson and his three sacks were the stars of the game.

Winning the game is one thing. But beating Ohio State by pushing them around shows that Harbaugh and his vision for success are not outdated.

Photo: Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh watches warmups before a game against Northern Illinois at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.

Video: Michigan fans storm the field after beating Ohio State

Michigan fans celebrate

Michigan’s win over Ohio State was a euphoric moment for fans — so much so that they engaged in a rare field-storm.

Wolverines fans spilled onto the field at Michigan Stadium at the end of their team’s 42-27 victory on Saturday. Many Michigan players remained on the field to celebrate with them, prompting quite the scene.

The scene was pretty much bedlam as thousands of Michigan fans streamed onto the field.

Scenes like this are typically reserved for huge upsets or dramatic endings. While Michigan was an eight-point underdog here, it couldn’t be classified as an enormous shock. It was simply the result of a team that has consistently been on the wrong side of one of college football’s biggest rivalries finally getting one for the first time since 2011. It also ensured that the Wolverines will make their first trip to the Big Ten Championship game next Saturday.

The most surprising thing about this? It wasn’t just fans who were on the field here.

Video: Michigan and Ohio State in tunnel confrontation at halftime

Ohio State Michigan tunnel

The rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State is one of the most heated in all of sports, and that nearly boiled over at halftime of Saturday’s game.

Video from the Michigan Stadium tunnel showed players from both teams getting involved in a halftime confrontation. While nothing serious happened, coaches had to make sure the players remained separated, and the game referees even had to get involved. Some staffers even seemed to be exchanging words.

It wasn’t clear what sparked this, but that’s how it goes sometimes with both teams in close proximity as they head to their locker rooms. It’s also worth noting that tempers were flaring on the field, as Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson and Michigan’s Vincent Gray had an on-field confrontation late in the half.

Add in the fact that both teams count down to this game all year and you have a recipe for heightened emotions.

The Wolverines, who have not beaten Ohio State since 2011, carried a 14-13 lead into halftime.

Video: NC State scores 13 points in 30 seconds in stunning comeback

NC State comeback

The NC State Wolfpack looked finished against rival North Carolina on Friday night, but pulled off one of the most stunning comebacks of the season.

The Wolfpack found themselves down 30-21 with 1:35 to go, facing 2nd and 18 from their own 36. That was where the comeback began, as quarterback Devin Leary found receiver Emeka Emezie for a 64-yard strike that made it 30-28.

That play was already unlikely, but the Wolfpack still needed to recover an onside kick to give themselves any real hope of a comeback. They managed it perfectly.

From there, NC State needed just three plays to score again, aided by two key North Carolina penalties. Despite being close to field goal range, Leary linked up with Emezie again, this time for 24 yards, to give the Wolfpack the lead. The official ledger showed that they scored 13 points in the span of 30 seconds on the game clock.

NC State held on the final drive in a wacky finish that saw North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell intercepted on an untimed down from the Wolfpack 30 to end the game.

The win probability graph laid out just how ridiculous this comeback was.

The win clinched a nine-win season for NC State, and sent the Tar Heels limping to 6-6. Mack Brown was clearly right in his early-season assessment of his team.

Ja Morant shares concerning tweet after knee injury

Ja Morant dribbles

Ja Morant shared a concerning tweet after suffering a knee injury on Friday night.

Morant suffered a non-contact left knee injury in the first quarter of his Memphis Grizzlies’ 132-100 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. The Grizzlies guard left the game and did not return.

After the game, Morant sent a tweet that featured emojis of a heart and hands praying. His message was: “It’s in God’s hands now. All we can do is pray.”

What about that message is concerning? Well, Morant probably wouldn’t be asking for prayers if there weren’t concern that the injury might be serious.

Morant, 22, is in his third NBA season. The former Rookie of the Year winner entered Friday averaging 25.3 points, 7.1 assists and 1.7 steals per game this season. Memphis would be in big trouble if he had to miss time.

UPDATE: Morant has a sprained knee.

Photo: Nelson Chenault USA TODAY Sports

Look: Brooks Koepka trolls Bryson DeChambeau with his golf cart

Brooks Koepka trolled Bryson DeChambeau with his golf cart

Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau put their feud aside to help the U.S. win the Ryder Cup two months ago, but they are looking to renew it for the latest installment of “The Match.” Koepka’s custom golf cart should help with that.

Koepka shared a photo of his cart for “The Match” on Twitter Thursday night. The cart has several decals that feature phrases trolling DeChambeau.

It’s hard to pick a favorite. We’d guess the one that cuts the deepest for DeChambeau is “Let’s Go Brooksy.” That, of course, is a phrase fans used to taunt DeChambeau during events. DeChambeau was so angered by it that he had an extremely heated exchange with a fan and had the PGA make a rule about the phrase.

The hostility between Koepka and DeChambeau was very real at one point, but it seemed like a lot changed at the Ryder Cup. At the very least, we can expect plenty of trash talk during “The Match” on Friday afternoon.

Jerry Jones not happy with all the penalty calls in Cowboys loss

Jerry Jones smiles

Jerry Jones was not at all happy following his Dallas Cowboys’ 36-33 overtime loss to the Las Vegas Raiders at home on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys owner was especially unhappy with all the penalties called in the game.

The Cowboys were penalized 14 times for 166 yards, which is a franchise record. The Raiders were also penalized 14 times, but for 110 yards. The total penalties called in the game produced an anomaly.

Like all the fans watching who did not enjoy the officials’ version of “flag” football, Jones didn’t like all the infractions that were called. He said the end result was a game of “throw up ball” that is a poor product.

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy was similarly frustrated with the officiating.

The “throw-up ball” that Jones described likely relates to the way Derek Carr just started throwing up balls at cornerbacks like Anthony Brown in hopes of drawing a call. Brown was penalized four times for pass interference, so the strategy worked. Maybe the Cowboys should have done more of the same.

Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Video: Pacers announcer was not happy with LeBron James’ celebration

LeBron James grabs his crotch

Indiana Pacers announcer Quinn Buckner was not happy with LeBron James over a celebration the Los Angeles Lakers star did on Wednesday.

James scored 39 points in his Lakers’ 124-116 overtime win over the Pacers. James made five three-pointers in the game, including some big ones late. After sinking a three to make it a 110-104 game late in the fourth, James broke out the “Big Balls Dance” for a celebration.

Buckner did not appreciate James’ gesture.

“He needs to get a warning about that behavior, I’m sorry,” Buckner said of LeBron. “There’s only so much craziness you can take.”

The NBA has made clear that they do not want players doing the “Big Balls Dance.” One player recently was fined for doing it.

Will the league penalize James as Buckner suggests? That remains to be seen.

Police say Everson Griffen refuses to come out of house

Everson Griffen celebrates with Vikings

Police were called to the home of Everson Griffen on Wednesday morning after the Minnesota Vikings star shared some disturbing posts on social media, and the situation was not resolved quickly.

The Vikings issued a statement saying they had dispatched team representatives and mental health professionals to Griffen’s home. Shortly after that, the Minnetrista Police Department offered an update on the situation and said Griffen was refusing to come out of his house.

Griffen called police at 3 a.m. and said someone was inside his home and wanted to harm him. However, Minnetrista Police said they were confident there was no intruder and that Griffen was inside the home alone. He also told police he fired a gun but that no one was injured. You can read the full release below:

Griffen was still refusing to come out of his house as of shortly after noon EST on Wednesday, according to police.

Concerns were raised about Griffen following his troubling social media activity early Wednesday morning. The 33-year-old shared some screenshots of a text conversation between him and his agent in which Griffen asked for help and said “people are trying to kill me.” He also posted a video in which he was waving a gun around. You can see the posts here.

Griffen has struggled with mental health issues in the past. In 2018, he tried to break into a teammate’s home and escaped an ambulance when taken into custody. Griffen’s agent later said Griffen was not diagnosed with a serious mental health issue and that the incident was a result of stress.

Photo: Dec 30, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) during a game between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings release statement on Everson Griffen’s troubling social media posts

Everson Griffin

Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Everson Griffen made some extremely troubling posts on social media early Wednesday morning, and the team has provided an update on the situation.

Griffen shared some screenshots of text messages that appeared to show the 33-year-old desperately reaching out to someone for help. The texts, which were seemingly sent by Griffen, included messages like “I need help” and “people are trying to kill me.” The posts have since been deleted, but you can see them below:

In another message on his Instagram story, Griffen wrote, “I need help people trying to kill me. At my own house.” He also posted a video in which he was holding a handgun. The video contains inappropriate language, but you can view it here.

The Vikings issued a statement on Tuesday morning saying they have provided support for Griffen and are cooperating with law enforcement.

Griffen has struggled with mental health issues in the past. In 2018, he tried to break into a teammate’s home and escaped an ambulance when taken into custody. Griffen’s agent later said Griffen was not diagnosed with a serious mental health issue and that the incident was a result of stress.

Griffen is in his second stint with the Vikings. The team gave him another shot this season after he campaigned for a return and expressed regret over some tweets he had criticizing Kirk Cousins.