Jim Harbaugh furious, ‘bitterly disappointed’ with refs

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh argues a holding call against the Wolverines in the first quarter.

Columbus, Ohio – Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh spent most of his post-game news conference after his team’s double-overtime loss to Ohio State fuming about the officiating.

Ohio State, which trailed by 10 points in the third quarter, won 30-27, on Saturday.

Harbaugh thought the Michigan defense had stopped OSU quarterback J.T. Barrett on a fourth-down run in the second overtime. Officials ruled it a first down and that was confirmed after a review. On the next play, Ohio State’s Curtis Samuel scored on a 15-yard run to win the game.

“There wasn’t a first down by that much,” Harbaugh said, holding his hands about a foot apart.

“I’m bitterly disappointed with the officiating today. That spot. The graphic display is the interference penalties. One not called on us on Grant Perry clearly being hooked before the ball got there. And the previous penalty they called on Delano Hill. The ball is uncatchable by the receiver. So I’m bitterly disappointed in the officiating. Can’t make that any more clear. My view of the first down is what that it was short.”

The Michigan players thought they had stopped Ohio State on fourth down to win the game. The Wolverines have now lost five straight and 12 of the last 13 to the Buckeyes.

Ohio State was called for two penalties for six yards. Michigan was called for seven penalties for 59 yards.

“Two penalties called all day,” Harbaugh said. “Multiple holding penalties let go, multiple false starts. The official on my side is concerned about whether our coaches are in the white or not in the white. Wants us not on the field. Their coaches were on the field practically in the huddle at times. I’m bitter.”

Harbaugh was incensed about Delano Hill getting called for pass interference in the fourth quarter on an Ohio State third-and-7 play. The ball looked uncatchable, but the first down on the penalty gave the Buckeyes new life and they scored to tie the game.

He was furious there was no pass interference called on the Buckeyes when Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight threw to Grant Perry in the second overtime on third down. Harbaugh wanted a penalty called on Gareon Conley.

Harbaugh and the Michigan sideline also were called for unsportsmanlike conduct after Harbaugh threw his play sheet and hat. He disagreed with an offside penalty on Maurice Hurst.

Responding to a question about whether he felt Michigan lost the game or it was taken from them, Harbaugh skewered the officials again.

“What do you think? That’s what I think,” Harbaugh said. “As I said, bitterly disappointed in the officiating. (They) could have been watching the game rather than being concerned about, throwing a hat. If you throw a hat? If you throw a script toward your sideline, that’s a penalty? I asked him about it, he said, ‘Well, it is in basketball.’ I go, ‘Well, this isn’t basketball.’ Well, he told me he officiates basketball. I don’t know the relevance. He said it would have been a technical in basketball. I’m bitter.”