John O’Korn sideline fall sparks plenty of theories

The Detroit News

Michigan faces plenty of questions following its 14-10 loss Saturday night to Michigan State, from play-calling to offensive line issues, to coach Jim Harbaugh’s inability to solve the program’s two biggest rivals.

And, then there’s John O’Korn.

The senior quarterback had his share of struggles in his first start of the season against the Spartans, tossing three interceptions and completing less than 50 percent of his passes (granted, the second half was played in a downpour). And, he was sacked four times, on top of that.

But the biggest question: What happened on the MSU sideline?

If you didn’t see it during the game, by now you’ve seen it plenty, between game highlights and social media.

O’Korn, after tossing his third interception of the game, in the fourth quarter, tumbles after he is pushed out of bounds by Michigan State safety Matt Morrissey into the Spartans sideline while trying to pursue David Dowell, who made the interception.

O’Korn got up in the middle of a group of MSU players and assistants, and suddenly hits the turf again.

Morrissey was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the play.

Did O'Korn slip on the turf, which was water-logged from the second-half storm? Was he yanked? Did he flop?

Videos appear inconclusive, as no one is shown clearing yanking O’Korn back to the ground, and O’Korn doesn’t react following his fall as though someone yanked him to the ground. He simply gets up again.

So, what happened? Everyone has their theories.

Michigan center Patrick Kugler saw the video but said he has no idea what happened.

"It was kinda funny to watch," Kugler said Monday. "I honestly couldn’t tell you. I have no idea. Wouldn’t be surprised if he was pulled or not pulled."

Sports Illustrated, in replaying the events, called it in a headline an “apparent flop” that was an “all-timer,” a conclusion echoed by 247Sports’ Brad Crawford, who called it “an Academy Award-winning acting job.” Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports dissected in detail the sequence of events in a Monday story, and couldn’t reach a conclusion.

What do you think?