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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Jelani Scott

Harbaugh Holds Michigan Players Back During Near-Brawl With Ohio State

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Saturday’s marquee Michigan-Ohio State game expectedly turned heated as the rivals got into a scrum on the sidelines in the first half.

The exchange came after a 19-yard kickoff return by Buckeyes receiver Xavier Johnson following a 75-yard Cornelius Johnson touchdown to put the Wolverines up 17–13 with 5:24 to play in the second quarter. As Johnson ran out of bounds near the Michigan sideline, the fifth-year wideout and a few teammates began exchanging words with several Wolverines.

The dust-up quickly escalated after Johnson was pushed in the back by Michigan wideout Ronnie Bell, prompting the refs and several Wolverines coaches to jump in. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was among those who jumped in the middle of the near-brawl and instructed his players to get back to the bench area.

As has often been the case over the years, the longstanding rivalry gave way to yet another chippy altercation outside of the battle that’s between the white lines.

With both teams fighting for bragging rights, the Wolverines are currently closing in on a huge victory. Michigan leads OSU, 31–20, with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game.

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