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#pounditSaturday, November 26, 2022

Video: Michigan loses defensive touchdown on controversial review

Payton Thorne fumble review

The Michigan Wolverines appeared to have a huge defensive touchdown in Saturday’s game against Michigan State, but a controversial replay review denied them.

The Wolverines were leading 20-14 late in the second quarter and had the Spartans backed up at their own 14-yard line. Michigan’s David Ojabo beat his man and sacked Spartan quarterback Payton Thorne, who fumbled the ball backward into the end zone. It was recovered by Wolverines star Aidan Hutchinson, and the call on the field was a touchdown.

A lengthy review followed as officials looked to determine whether Thorne was down before losing the ball. FOX analyst Joel Klatt and rules expert Mike Pereira both agreed that there was not enough evidence to overturn the call on the field, and expected the touchdown to stand.

Surprisingly, however, the officials ruled that Thorne’s shin was down prior to the fumble. It meant the sack stood, but the turnover and ensuing touchdown did not.

It’s not really clear how the officials made the determination. There was not any clear camera angle that showed Thorne down with possession. Unless there was an angle that was not shown on television, it’s hard to figure out where the officials got the conclusive evidence they are supposed to need in order to overturn the call on the field.

The significance of the overturned call was enormous. Had the call on the field stood, the Wolverines would have been up 27-14 and poised to get the ball first in the second half.

Ironically, the Spartans beat Michigan a year ago with the help of a bizarre non-review. Replay might end up being their friend again if they can come back and win Saturday.

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