Ohio State loses Marvin Harrison Jr. in 2nd half due to concussion

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ATLANTA — Ohio’s star receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. was knocked out with a concussion in Saturday’s loss to Georgia in the College Football Playoff Semifinals at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

Buckeyes coach Ryan Day said Harrison went into concussion protocol after being hit hard by Georgia defensive back Javon Bullard in the endzone with less than a minute left in the third quarter. He was examined by medical staff and remained on the Ohio sidelines, but he did not rejoin the game.

The referee initially penalized Bullard for being too targeted, but after review, the call was overturned.

“I was told it wasn’t what I was aiming for, but [Harrison] “It’s hard not to get shot in the head. I’ve never seen it so I don’t know,” Day said. Must watch the replay. ”

Harrison said he feels good enough to go back. When asked if he was conscious the whole time, he said yes.

“It was just a regular hit,” he said. “I felt good enough to get back into the game.”

Harrison said he “absolutely” wanted to come back, but respected his trainer’s decision to keep him. .

“At the end of the day, they care about my health and safety,” said Harrison, who had five catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns. “I respect their decision.”

Ohio State was leading 35-24 when Harrison hit. The Buckeyes settled for a field goal to extend their lead to 14 points.

Georgia then defeated Ohio State, 18-3.

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Adonai Mitchell to give them a one-point lead with 54 seconds remaining.

Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud drove a 43-yard offense with 51 seconds, but Noah Ruggles missed a 50-yard field goal attempt with 3 seconds remaining.

“If you say losing Marvin had an impact on the game, it absolutely did,” Day said.

But Harrison’s loss wasn’t the only thing that affected Ohio’s offense. Starting tight end Cade Stover left the game with a hip injury in the first quarter.

“We lost Cade early in the game, so we got into a really small tailspin with some groupings,” Day said.

Still, Stroud had one of the best games of the season. It bounced back from a poor performance in the loss to Michigan, which nearly eliminated Ohio State from the playoffs.

Stroud completed 23 of 34 passes for 348 yards, scored four touchdowns, and had no interceptions. He also ran for 34 yards.

“Of course I think we should have won the game,” Stroud said.

Day said the same thing.

“I don’t think there’s a man in that locker room who doesn’t feel like we should have won the game,” he said. “Again, I think it’s part of sitting in our stomachs for so long.”

Harrison said not being able to go out with his teammates was “hurtful”.

“A chance to make it to the fourth quarter, the college football playoffs, the national competition,” he said. “I wish I could have been with my teammates.”

Harrison also said he wanted to give a better performance.

“When I was out there, I don’t think I played enough to help the team win,” he said. “We didn’t do our best today. We’ll start over and try to do better next year.”

ESPN’s Pete Thamel contributed to this report.

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