Day Felt Impact Following Marvin Harrison Jr.’s Departure From Peach Bowl

Perhaps no single play impacted Ohio State’s loss to Georgia in the Peach Bowl more than the hit delivered to wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. late in the third quarter.

With the sophomore wideout streaking toward the back of the end zone, attempting to haul in a pass from quarterback C.J. Stroud, Harrison was hit high by Georgia cornerback Javon Bullard, causing him to hit the turf hard and stay on the field before being helped up. Originally fouled for targeting, the penalty was later picked up, forcing the Buckeyes to settle for a field goal.

“I was told that it was not targeting, that he didn’t take a shot to the head, which is hard – I didn’t see it, so I don’t know,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said. “But to get a concussion and not get hit in the head, I’d have to see the replay. And they said that it happened after he got hit, but I’d have to take a look at the video. I wasn’t able to see the replay.”

Harrison stayed on Ohio State’s sideline after being checked out by was held out of the remainder of the contest, placed in the concussion protocol by the team’s medical staff.

“I respect the trainers’ decision to keep me out,” Harrison said after the game. “At the end of the day, they’re just looking out for my health and my safety. I respect their decision though.”

And while Harrison said he respected their decision, he also said he felt fine enough to go back into the game and would have “gave it his all” to help Ohio State down the stretch.

“I mean, I did my best,” he said. “I wanted to be out there with my team. But like I said, I respect their decision. At the end of the day, they’re just looking out for my health. But I definitely tried to fight.

“It hurt bad,” he continued. “Fourth quarter, College Football Playoff, a chance to go to the national championship. I wish I could (have been) out there for my teammates and do the best I can help.”

Harrison’s coach agreed that his presence could have helped during the game’s final stages. Harrison had five receptions for 106 yards and a pair of touchdowns before exiting the contest, and after his departure, Ohio State picked up just 97 total yards and the Bulldogs stormed back from a 38-24 deficit entering the final quarter.

“To say that losing Marv didn’t have an impact on the game, it absolutely did,” Day said. “What this guy did and the way he competed in the second half with all those things coming at him, I just can’t say enough. I’m so proud of the way he played.”