Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson said Tuesday that at least one Penn State defensive player intentionally eye-gouged him for “about” 10 seconds during his fourth-quarter touchdown sneak Saturday.
“I’ve never been in a pileup as violent as that one,” Patterson told the Detroit News’ Angelique Chelis. “Got the touchdown, but that wasn’t fun.”
When asked if the eye-gouging was on purpose, Patterson told Chelis, “Uh, yeah.”
In the replay of the 1-yard QB sneak, which occurred with 8:48 left in regulation, it’s virtually impossible to detect exactly what’s going on underneath the pile at the goal line. But, immediately after the touchdown, Patterson is seen talking to an official and pointing to his eyes while standing in front of Jim Harbaugh.
“Dude had his index finger in my eye, my whole — in my eye socket, for about, like I said, 10 seconds,” Patterson told The Detroit Free Press. “That wasn’t good.”
Patterson’s sneak cut Penn State’s advantage to 28-21. But the Wolverines failed to strike again, coming up short in their next goal-line trip, as James Franklin’s crew came away with the 28-21 victory.
Michigan’s senior quarterback did not accuse any specific Nittany Lions. He said the game did “not really” feel that nasty before the play, and Patterson even praised PSU’s talent and Saturday night’s White Out environment.
Michigan offensive lineman Jon Runyan initially brought up the accusation during an unrelated question about his quarterback. Patterson then confirmed Runyan’s account, although Runyan acknowledged he was not involved in the scrum.
“We were down there and were in the pile — I mean I wasn’t in it — but Shea was getting his eyes gouged out in the scrum,” Runyan told Chelis. “He was still fighting away, with people digging at his eyes.
“He came to the sideline with tears down his eyes. It was ridiculous that people were trying to gouge his eyes out, but he kept fighting for us. And I appreciate it.”