Michigan thought it had cut TCU’s first-half deficit to five points with a long TD pass to Roman Wilson, but fumbled the ball away a play later after a replay review somehow ruled that Wilson was short of the goal line.
With TCU leading 14-3, Michigan’s Rob Moore intercepted Max Duggan off a deflection early in the second quarter. A play later, JJ McCarthy found Wilson behind the TCU secondary for what appeared to be a 49-yard TD.
But the play was quickly reviewed. Wilson caught the ball as he went to the ground and the ball bounced off his arm before he secured it against his chest. By the time he had possession of the ball, he appeared to be in the end zone.
Officials disagreed with that assessment and said Wilson was short of the goal line. The ball was spotted a half-yard short of the goal line. And then McCarthy fumbled a handoff with Kalel Mullings on a fullback dive play.
The ball bounced into the pile in the end zone, where TCU recovered for a touchback and maintained a 14-3 lead instead of leading by just five or even four points after a Michigan extra point.
It was a massive break for the Horned Frogs, though TCU fans will note that pass interference could have easily been called on the pass that led to Moore’s interception.
However you saw the play, it ended up looming large in a wild second half. TCU eventually won 51-45, a margin that could have been covered by the lost touchdown, and the Horned Frogs sealed the game on another controversial decision by the officials.