Senior quarterback Devin Gardner had the Wolverines driving down the field in hopes of regaining the lead on a field goal or punching another one into the end zone to secure what would’ve been an utterly massive road win for a program dealing with tough times.
De’Veon Smith got the fourth quarter drive started with bruising runs of nine yards and then four for Michigan’s first, first down.
Finally, it was third and eight at the Rutgers 38 with 3:22 to play, Gardner with a moving pocket to the right hits Amara Darboh at the first down marker. Darboh appeared to secure the football, take a couple of steps and dive forward and out of bounds.
Only problem was, at the end of the play, the ball comes loose.
The play was ruled incomplete, Michigan ultimately challenging the ruling on the field as the officials looked it over, still deciding the original call was confirmed.
Michigan would then go on to attempt a 56-yard field goal on fourth and nine, a kick that was blocked by Rutgers.
Monday, Michigan coach Brady Hoke says the film was sent in to the Big Ten conference, though clearly nothing can be changed at this point.
“We talked yesterday, spoken to the right people, the appropriate people,” Hoke said. “I think we might see it differently but at the same time, you know that plays over with and like I told the team yesterday, anything that happened on Saturday night is things we’ve got to move forward because we start to focus on Penn State.”
Michigan offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier was also asked for his opinion on the Darboh play, smiling and pausing before saying the following.
“We send in the information, follow proper protocol each and every week and we’re looking forward to playing Penn State this week,” he said.