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#pounditTuesday, September 27, 2022

Articles tagged: Michigan Football

Michigan OC Josh Gattis commits all-time dumb move

Josh Gattis claps

Michigan got its first football win over rival Ohio State in 10 years, and they’re acting like they want to go another 10 years before they get another win in the series.

First you had Jim Harbaugh taking a dig at Ryan Day after Michigan overpowered Ohio State 42-27 in the Big House on Saturday. Two days later, it was Josh Gattis talking trash.

Gattis, 37, is in his third season as Michigan’s offensive coordinator. He talked Monday on the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show and shared some insight regarding the team’s strategy against the Buckeyes.

Gattis said Michigan viewed Ohio State as a “finesse team” and “not a tough team.”

“They’re a good team. They’re a finesse team, they’re not a tough team,” Gattis said, via the Detroit News’ Angelique S. Chengelis. “And we knew that going into the game that we can out-physical them, we can out-tough and that was going to be the key to the game, and that’s what we prepared for all year long.”

Gattis went even further, saying that Michigan saw Oregon overpower Ohio State and committed to the same gameplan.

“You saw earlier this year in the game they lost to Oregon, Oregon was the most physical team on the field,” Gattis said. “That’s the way they lost, and we committed to that recipe, and it paid off.”

Look, nothing Gattis said is incorrect. Anyone watching the game could see that Michigan just bullied Ohio State and pushed them around. We wrote about it. We gave credit to Gattis for his gameplan. He, Harbaugh, and Michigan’s players and coaches deserve all the credit for the win.

But you have to wonder what in the heck Gattis was thinking by saying that out loud? That’s the type of thing you keep to yourself and leave unsaid.

It was already widely recognized and known that Michigan pushed around the less physical Buckeyes. Did Gattis feel so strongly that he had to make sure people recognized his genius by saying it publicly?

Gattis essentially called Michigan’s biggest rival “soft.” That’s the kind of quote that stings, that sticks in your head, and that motivates you.

Between what Harbaugh did, and what Gattis has said, Ohio State has all the bulletin-board material they need for next year. They are going to be motivated to hang 100 points on Michigan next season, and the Wolverines can thank Harbaugh — and especially Gattis — for that.

H/T Eleven Warriors

Photo: Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis watches warmups before a game against Northern Illinois at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.

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.

Michigan coaches had amazing reaction to huge win

Jim Harbaugh in a Michigan hat

Michigan’s coaches showed just how much the win over rival Ohio State on Saturday meant to them and the program with the way they celebrated.

The Wolverines defeated the Buckeyes 42-27 to improve to 11-1 and claim their first win over Ohio State under Jim Harbaugh. The fans waited 10 years to get the win and celebrated like mad when it happened. They stormed the field and packed The Big House (video here).

Wolverines coaches were just like the fans after the win. Several reporters in the press box tweeted that Michigan’s coaches who were coaching from a booth in the press box were heard yelling “let’s f—ing go!” as they ran to the elevator to go down to the field and celebrate.

Everyone associated with the Michigan program was elated. The win was a long time coming.

Better yet, the win came when both teams entered the game 10-1, making the stakes as high as possible. It was two heavyweights in the ring, and Michigan prevailed with a knockout this time. That was enough reason for coaches and fans to celebrate and have a great time.

Photo: Aug 31, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh before the game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Video: Cameron Brown rips Roman Wilson’s helmet off

cameron brown helmet

Saturday’s Ohio State-Michigan game was one of the most heated the rivalry has seen in years, and things boiled over a bit in the third quarter.

Things really got started with about six minutes left in the third quarter after the Wolverines ran a first and goal play. Ohio State cornerback Cameron Brown and Michigan wide receiver Roman Wilson got into a bit of a scuffle away from the play. Brown totally lost his cool and ripped Wilson’s helmet off, sparking a near-fight on the field between the two teams.

Brown was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for his actions. Michigan had already had the ball at the Ohio State two-yard line, so the actual penalty didn’t matter all that much, and the Wolverines scored a touchdown on the ensuing play.

Brown has to keep his composure here. The Buckeyes were already down 21-13 at the time and were struggling on defense, which undoubtedly fueled the frustration. It didn’t help that tensions were already high based on what happened in the tunnel at halftime.

The Buckeyes are not used to being pushed around. Michigan was doing that on Saturday with the stakes higher than ever, and Ohio State simply was not handling it well.

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.

Ryan Day has warning for Michigan after blowout win

Ryan Day

The Ohio State Buckeyes appear to be hitting their stride at the right time, and coach Ryan Day wants his biggest rival to know it.

The Buckeyes throttled the Michigan State Spartans 56-7 on Saturday, turning a clash of top-ten teams into an uncompetitive blowout. Ohio State jumped out to a 49-0 lead before halftime, and quarterback C.J. Stroud asserted his Heisman Trophy credentials by throwing for 432 yards and six touchdowns.

After the game, Day did something unusual. He brought up next week’s opponent, the Michigan Wolverines, more than once, and sent a clear message to his players. The message he sent was to Jim Harbaugh and Harbaugh’s Wolverines team.

Day even added that he had started thinking about the Michigan game even before officially finishing off Michigan State.

This year’s Ohio State-Michigan game will decide the Big Ten East and send the winner to the conference championship game. Beyond that, Day has made the Michigan rivalry a huge priority, much like his predecessor Urban Meyer did. That explains the intensity of his focus on Michigan. It also provides some context as to why the Buckeyes have won 17 of the last 19 meetings between the two schools.

CFP’s explanation for ranking Michigan ahead of Michigan State is troubling

Mel Tucker before a game

Michigan and Michigan State are both 9-1 this season. Michigan State also defeated Michigan when the teams met on Oct. 30 in East Lansing. You would think the teams having the same record and Michigan State winning their head-to-head matchup would lead the Spartans to be ranked ahead of the Wolverines. But that’s not the case with the College Football Playoff committee.

For the second week in a row, the CFP had Michigan ranked No. 6 and Michigan State No. 7.

The explanation from the CFP Selection Committee Chairman Gary Barta for this difference is baffling.

“Set aside watching the games, that’s certainly a part of it. But statistically in just about every category offensively and defensively, Michigan comes out on top over Michigan State,” Barta said Tuesday in explaining the decision.

That explanation is hard to deal with. Shouldn’t what happened in a head-to-head matchup, providing the teams’ records are the same, be the tiebreaker? What statistic matters more than who won the game when the teams played?

The issue might temporarily be moot; Michigan State faces Ohio State this weekend and will either jump or fall in the rankings based on what happens in that game. However, Michigan faces Ohio State the following week, and we could end up right back in the same spot with both teams having two losses and the Spartans holding a head-to-head advantage.

No matter how you view it, it’s troubling that the committee isn’t making the head-to-head outcome between teams the priority. They’re not even being consistent about it either, because statistically, Ohio State (ranked No. 4) is better than Oregon (No. 3) across the board despite losing to them.

Photo: Sep 3, 2021; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Michigan State Spartans head coach Mel Tucker walks on the field during warmups before the game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Reason Jim Harbaugh subbed JJ McCarthy in for Cade McNamara revealed

JJ McCarthy fumbles

Michigan on Saturday blew a lead on the road at Michigan State and lost the game 37-33 for their first defeat of the season. Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh caught a lot of criticism after the game for his team blowing the lead. A good amount of the criticism was over Harbaugh shuffling quarterbacks and playing JJ McCarthy for Cade McNamara at times, including on one key fumble. But now we know what was going on during that play.

Michigan was leading 33-30 with over seven minutes left in the game and had the ball near midfield following a punt. McCarthy, who is the backup, was in the game to begin the possession for Michigan. He immediately lost a fumble on a read option type of play. The turnover was costly and gave the ball to the Spartans in Michigan territory. Michigan State ended up scoring the winning touchdown following the turnover.

“Two quarterbacks handle the football. It finally cost the Wolverines,” announcer Gus Johnson said.

“I was surprised McCarthy was on the field after he put it on the turf on the previous series. He fumbled last series, they got away with it,” analyst Joel Klatt said.

Michigan had rotated McCarthy in a few times during the second half. He was 3/4 for 23 yards and a touchdown pass. He also rushed three times for seven yards. But most people thought it was a bad idea to have him begin the possession instead of McNamara.

Harbaugh explained the reason after the game. Harbaugh said McNamara wasn’t able to play at the time, which is why McCarthy was in the game.

The announcers/telecast missed that information, which was important context to the matter.

Had McNamara been available, he probably would have been in the game, and not McCarthy. That’s likely of little consolation for Michigan fans, who are bummed about blowing a 30-14 lead.

Photo: Aug 31, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh before the game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Did Michigan State get away with hold on key play against Michigan?

Michigan State holding

The Michigan State Spartans pulled off a remarkable 37-33 comeback win Saturday against the Michigan Wolverines, but some would argue they had some help from the referees.

The Wolverines were facing a four-point deficit with under two minutes to go in Saturday’s rivalry game, and the drive came down to a 4th and 3 that Michigan had to get. The pass intended for Cornelius Johnson fell incomplete, and no flags were thrown.

But should there have been one? Spartans defensive back Angelo Grose appeared to get away with a borderline hold on the play.

Michigan’s Cade McNamara didn’t make a great throw, but there’s certainly an argument that Johnson was impeded enough that it warranted a flag. The Wolverines will be rankled that they didn’t get one to extend the drive.

The Wolverines were on the wrong end of another controversial decision in this game as well. Some Michigan fans are going to feel like they didn’t get any help from the officiating in this one.

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.