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Jim Harbaugh discusses controversial overturned touchdown: Players ‘really deserved better’

The most controversial call in college or professional football this weekend.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Michigan State Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh was impressed with the way his team fought despite losing to Michigan State 37-33. What he wasn’t pleased with was the officiating.

Michigan turned the ball over on downs their second-to-last drive of the game on a play Harbaugh called “clear pass interference”, and points were taken off the board earlier in the game when it looked like Aidan Hutchinson strip-sacked Michigan State quarterback Payton Thorne, which led to a David Ojabo fumble recovery in the endzone for a Michigan touchdown. However, the call was reviewed, and overturned — Thorne was ruled down at the 2-yard line and MSU would ultimately punt. Seven points taken off the board.

“Some things were out of their control. I thought especially the review and the overturn of the sack-fumble. That should have never happened. That was not conclusive evidence,” Harbaugh said.

The biggest issue with the play at hand is the fact it was called a touchdown on the field. Is there anything conclusive to overturn the call? FOX Sports officiating expert Mike Pereira was critical of the overturn during the broadcast, calling it a fumble.

Harbaugh believes that the overturn is something that most people agree was the incorrect decision, and he felt this type of call was unfair to his players.

“They said that his shin was down. I said ‘half a shin? Was the ball moving?’ Because it sure looked like there was no conclusive evidence. I think everybody, anybody who has a rational view of it, non-partial view, would say that’s the way the rule is written, that it has to be irrefutable evidence, video evidence,” Harbaugh said. “You feel for the players that really deserved better, especially when other reviews were either left to stand or overturned based on having what was called on the field, let it stand, we don’t have conclusive video of it.”