No. 4 Ohio State is officially the victim of the first questionable call of the 2021 college football season.
The ruling in question came on the Gophers’ first drive out of halftime Thursday night. On the fifth play of the drive, Golden Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan audibled just before the play clock ran out and threw an interception to Josh Proctor, who returned it 60 yards to the Minnesota 20. Ohio State, which had just retaken the lead on its first drive of the half, looked primed to extend its 17-14 advantage.
Except: Officials ruled linebacker Dallas Gant roughed Morgan, negating the interception and big return. Here is the play, in which Gant seems to try to pull up and then makes incidental contact with Morgan’s helmet:
Two plays later, Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim scored a go-ahead, 19-yard touchdown to make it 21-17, Gophers. To make matters worse for the Buckeyes, it was the second straight 15-yard penalty against them; the play prior to the overturned interception, Ryan Watts was called for an obvious pass interference that most likely saved a touchdown.
That wasn’t the only close call for the Buckeyes, either. Earlier in the game, linebacker Teradja Mitchell was called for targeting before officials reversed the ruling.
Ohio State came back with two touchdowns following the Ibrahim touchdown — a 56-yard Garrett Wilson reception from C.J. Stroud and a 32-yard fumble return by Haskell Garrett — but the roughing call will still likely irritate Buckeyes faithful.