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Michigan stung by second straight letdown in CFP semifinals

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Michigan junior receiver Roman Wilson repeated what most of his teammates were saying in some way or fashion Saturday in the Wolverines’ locker room.

For the second year in a row, Michigan defeated rival Ohio to win the Big Ten Championship. However, for the second year in a row, the Wolverines lost in the semifinals of the College Football Playoffs. This gave his TCU his 51-45 heartbreaker in the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl.

“We made too many mistakes. Too many times we had chances and didn’t play or ruined plays,” Wilson said. “I mean, they’re a good team. We still think we’re the better team, but they’ve done our best. Everything they’ve done in the movies is what they’ve done in the games.” It’s how we played. So we weren’t surprised. We just didn’t make it.”

Junior offensive guard Zach Ginter was even more brief.

“We didn’t get into the details. We hurt ourselves….we beat ourselves up there,” Ginter said.

One by one, the Michigan players did their best to evaluate their two-game losing streak in the CFP Semifinals. The Wolverines continued to fight back as he tied 21-3 in the second quarter and 41-22 late in the third. In the end, they had two interceptions returned for touchdowns, three first-and-goal situations that produced a total of three points, and a rushing defense that gave up 263 yards on the ground (ranked third in the nation). ) could not be overcome.

Senior defensive back Mike Sainlistille, part of Michigan’s defense that allowed seven plays from 15+ yards of scrimmage, said, “It’s not my fault to give up 51 points to be our defense. “I think that’s just a summary of the match. We didn’t play at our level.”

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy threw for 343 yards and two touchdowns, and kept the Wolverines coming back every time they seemed out of the game. But his two interceptions returned for touchdowns were costly, as was Karel Mullings’ fumble at his TCU 1-yard line in the second quarter. On the play before Mullings’ fumble, Wilson pulled in what Michigan thought was his pass for a 51-yard touchdown. However, the play was reviewed and officials determined that his knee was down at 1.

“I thought I got in, but I don’t know,” said Wilson, who recorded five catches for 104 yards.

The loss magnified Michigan’s postseason woes. The Wolverines are currently on a six-game losing streak in bowl games. They lost 34-11 to Georgia in the playoff semi-finals a year ago.

But this was even worse, according to the players, given the Wolverines’ mistakes.

“In hindsight, maybe when I’m older, I’ll be grateful that I won the Big Ten Championship and everything two years in a row and beat Ohio State two years in a row. Let’s go.” Mullings said. “But for now, I feel like we still have a lot left to do.”

Senior defensive lineman Maji Smith said it was too late in the game for the Wolverines to start playing “complementary football”, and despite offensive turnovers, the defense eventually turned it into a shootout. Until Saturday’s game, Michigan hadn’t given up more than 27 points in a game all season.

“I mean, I just looked up and was like, ‘There was a lot of kickoff.’ Do you know what I’m saying?” said Smith. “I was like, ‘Damn, this could kick off as much as the whole season.’ But at some point, the scoreboard doesn’t matter anymore. Just play hard.” is needed.”

Smith also refuted claims that Michigan underestimated the TCU and thought it could physically push the horned toads aside.

“If you look at TCU, they’re playing good football,” Smith said. “They have big guards. They have big tackles. They have good centers and really big backs[Emari Demercado]who run like Derrick Henry. It’s looking like…they can play, these boys can play….this is a college football playoff game and you can’t get there by sucking.”

The loss was bittersweet for the Wolverines, but they said it will make it harder for them this offseason.

“We will be back,” said Wilson. “This will be a new stepping stone for the program, the culture, the new people and everyone here. It may be the future.

“This is what we’re supposed to do. Go out and make it in these games.”

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said: