By: Will Burchfield
Michigan’s dominant 33-10 win over Minnesota on Saturday night was somewhat marred by a skirmish that resulted in the ejection of safety Josh Metellus.
But Metellus didn’t appear to do all that much wrong.
At the end of a play late in the third quarter, Minnesota offensive lineman Donnell Greene smacked Michigan’s Tyree Kinnel in the face. Metellus, standing nearby, quickly approached Greene and the two came face mask to face mask, which incited some pushing and shoving.
After the referees had broken things up, they announced that both Greene and Metellus were ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Jim Harbaugh was asked afterward of the referee’s explanation for ejecting Metellus, and said, “It didn’t really have a lot of logic to it.”
Metellus never appeared to punch Greene, or even lay a hand on him.
“No,” Harbaugh said with a chuckle, “it didn’t seem like he threw a punch. But (the ref) said because it was a scrum they weren’t going to lose control of the game. Offsetting penalties. That was about the gist of it.
“My counterargument to that was, ‘(Their) guy threw a punch, (our) guy stood in front of the guy.’ (Metellus) shouldn’t have walked back in there. I told him that, ‘Josh, you shouldn’t be walking in there like that.'”
Kinnel wasn’t sure what he did to incite Greene, who later had to be dragged away from the skirmish by two of his teammates.
“I was pushing him off one of my players but it was definitely in between the whistle. That reaction I don’t think was so deserving, but he did it, got ejected for it. Hopefully we can learn from it and take our cool and just take the bullet on the next one,” said Kinnel.
Kinnel said it was “an unfortunate situation” and added, “I definitely think it was on them.”
Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck was disappointed with Greene’s behavior.
“That’s not our culture,” he told reporters, via Rivals. “100 percent unacceptable, he’ll have to pay the price for that.”