The Army Black Knights might’ve had the most special kind of 12th man on the field in their big matchup with the Michigan Wolverines.
Army has kept pace with the Wolverines (No. 7 in the AP poll) in the early going, courtesy of three early forced turnovers. One might’ve never happened, if not for a missed call from officials.
Late in the first quarter, an Army fumble deep in their own territory landed in the arms of Michigan’s Josh Metellus. The linebacker dove for the ball at first, but replayed showed he was careful to get his knees off the ground to allow for a touchdown return. With the supposed score, the Wolverines seemed poised to take a 14-7 via a pair of unanswered touchdowns that would serve as a potentially permanent momentum shifter.
A whistle ended that dream before it even started.
Officials ruled that Metellus’ knee was down prior to the runback. College football rules dictate that a play is dead once the ballcarrier’s knee or elbow hits the ground. Michigan was thus awarded the ball at Army’s 21-yard-line.
The gaffe turned out to bite the Wolverines in more ways than one. On the very next play, Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson’s dropback to pass instead became a fumble forced by Army’s Elijah Riley. The blitzing defensive back recovered the loose ball, giving the Black Knights the ball back. Army would punt on the ensuing drive, but would later take the lead on a later possession. The Michigan fumble was the second of three turnovers, all coming via fumble. The turnovers each immediately preceded Army’s scores.
Michigan fans and analysts alike took to Twitter to vent about the non-existent touchdown…
Army currently leads Michigan 14-7 at the half.