The Michigan Wolverines came into Saturday night as significant favorites over the Iowa Hawkeyes, but they probably would prefer to play with a full complement of players. Midway through the first quarter, that preference went out the window, as freshman linebacker Devin Bush Jr. was unceremoniously ejected for targeting.
The play can be seen above and, well, this call does not make a ton of sense. Iowa elected to run a fake punt that inexplicably allowed the team’s punter to run on the edge against a team with high-end athletes like Michigan, and while the play design actually “worked”, the punter tripped and that allowed Bush Jr. to close the gap in a hurry.
However, the officials apparently wanted the young freshman to pull up, as he was sent to the locker room early given what we can only assume was what the referees saw as a flagrant attempt to injure. In real time, it seems fairly clear that the Iowa punter going down on his own did not leave Bush Jr. enough time to get out of the way and, at worst, this was probably a run-of-the-mill personal foul.
Instead, Michigan is without one of its most athletic linebackers and special teams gurus and Jim Harbaugh can’t be pleased.