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Saturday, January 19, 2019

Ohio State benefits from 4th down spot, wins on next play

JT Barrett first down

Football truly is a game of inches, and the latest case to confirm that cliche is what happened between Ohio State and Michigan in double-overtime on Saturday.

The two college football titans clashed in a game for the ages in Columbus, with Ohio State winning 30-27 in double-OT.

The Buckeyes were down 27-24 and faced a 4th and 1 after a wild run by Curtis Samuel in double-OT. Quarterback J.T. Barrett rushed forward on 4th and 1 and appeared to get the first down through forward progress, though he fell back a half-yard upon being tackled.

Just as analyst Kirk Herbstreit said, if you gave him the spot based on how far he got, then you mark it as a first down. If you spotted the ball where he fell back, then Barrett was short. The correct call — which was made on the field and upheld after a replay review — was that Barrett barely got the first down.

Michigan fans were bent out of shape about the spot the Buckeyes received. Had Barrett not been given the first down spot, Ohio State would have lost. But they got a favorable spot and the first down, and then won the game on the next play with a rushing touchdown from Samuel.

The longer the game went on, the more Ohio State proved to be the better team. Michigan probably should have just attempted a two-point conversion rather than kick the extra point to send it to double-OT.

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