The Ohio State Buckeyes seemed to be cruising to an upset victory in their College Football Playoff semifinal matchup against the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday night. But disaster struck late in the third quarter when star Buckeyes wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. took a big hit and had to be put in concussion protocol. Ohio State’s offense then faltered in the fourth quarter as Georgia completed a massive comeback to earn a 42-41 win, with the Buckeyes missing a long last-second field goal to win.
Ohio State head coach Ryan Day talked about Harrison’s injury afterward and acknowledged how it changed the game.
“To say that losing Marvin had an impact on the game, it absolutely did,” Day said, per ESPN’s Alex Scarborough.
Day also addressed the hit not being called for targeting after it initially was.
“I was told that it was not targeting, that [Harrison] didn’t take a shot to the head, which is hard for — I didn’t see it, so I don’t know,” Day said. “But to get a concussion and not get hit in the head — I have to see the replay.”
Harrison said he “absolutely” wanted to return to the game, but Ohio State’s training stuff opted to hold him out. The Buckeyes settled for a field goal after the hit to go up 38-24 heading into the fourth quarter, but they managed just three points in the final frame as the Bulldogs stormed back.
Harrison had five catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the game, but he felt like he still could have done more while he was out there to help Ohio State Football pull off the upset. Alas, things didn’t end well for Harrison or the Buckeyes, and now they’ll be watching the College Football Playoff National Championship from home instead of playing TCU for all the marbles.