Wolverines feel call missed at Iowa
Players have seen replays, believe Hemingway caught TD pass in waning moments
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan coaches and players watched it again on replay and still searched for answers.
Wide receiver Junior Hemingway made a catch and came down inbounds, Michigan coach Brady Hoke said. He caught the ball, defensive end Ryan Van Bergen said.
And now all Michigan can do is wait. Hoke said Monday that the school has submitted the call to the Big Ten office for review."Not completely yet have I got an explanation there," Hoke said. "I'm being honest with you. On the field there's not enough time for them to come up ... and they're not going to take the time to come up and say, 'This is what we decided.'[+] EnlargeLon Horwedell/Icon SMIThe Big Ten said it doesn't comment on judgment calls in regards to the review of Junior Hemingway's catch in the final moments against Iowa.
"They reviewed it and went through the proper channels and all that stuff. It's just how it goes."
The play Michigan is inquiring about is the third-to-last play of the Wolverines' 24-16 loss to Iowa on Saturday, in which Hemingway appeared to make a one-handed catch inbounds in the back of the end zone.
Officials initially ruled the play an incomplete pass. They reviewed it and upheld the call. After the game, Hemingway tweeted that he caught the ball, and his quarterback, Denard Robinson, said in his postgame interview that Hemingway caught it.
Hoke said the issue was whether Hemingway finished the "process" of catching the ball after he hit the ground.
"That's where everything gets diluted," Hoke said. "What is that rule? I thought he caught the ball."
On the field in real time, Michigan's players felt Hemingway caught the ball. After watching the replay Sunday, they still believed it, although it doesn't really matter now. Michigan lost, and a ruling won't change much of anything.
"We thought he caught it," Van Bergen said. "We thought he caught it on the field. But you know, it comes down to a call. A call is made, no touchdown.
"We had another opportunity to win the game. We had opportunities before that. So can't get hung up on that. Got to move forward."
All three Michigan players made available Monday said that they've moved on from the play that helped result in the Wolverines' second loss of the season, although running back Fitzgerald Toussaint said he was still a little bit angry -- but mostly about Michigan losing and not the official's call.
"I believe it was a catch," Toussaint said. "But that was then. Now just worrying about this week."
Hoke was asked whether he felt his team, after watching the replay, was "robbed." The first-year Michigan coach, who has had on-field controversy in both of his losses, laughed.
"I don't know. I never carry much money with me anyway. Mrs. Hoke doesn't give me it," Hoke said. "It's football. That's what it is. It's football. That stuff happens. Our kids played hard."
No matter what result comes from the Big Ten office, Michigan lost the game. And that's really all that matters.
Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan sports for WolverineNation. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mikerothstein.
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