Walt Anderson, the supervisor of football officials for the Big 12, has issued a statement regarding two controversial plays in Texas’ 31-30 win at Iowa State on Thursday night.
The first occurred on Joe Bergeron‘s 6-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Texas was penalized 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff because of an unneccesary roughness call on senior receiver Mike Davis, who attempted a block from behind on the knees of Cyclones safety Deon Broomfield.
The second was on Texas’ final, game-winning drive when tailback Johnathan Gray appeared to fumble the ball while trying to reach the goal line in the middle of a pack of Cyclones and Longhorns players. Iowa State linebacker Jeremiah George emerged with the ball and began running back downfield, but officials had whistled the play dead. After a booth review, the call on the field was upheld.
Texas retained possession, and two plays later, Case McCoy scored the game-winning touchdown on a 1-yard sneak.
After the game, Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads was visibly upset and emotional about the fumble call.
“I’ve got the privilege as the head football coach of this football program to face my players, win or lose, and look them in the eye and feel how proud I am of the work they put forth and the effort they gave tonight. And to make a play on the 1-yard line with their backs against the wall, clear to everybody, and have it taken away from them, that’s hard to express. You don’t just put an arm aound a guy and tell him it’s OK when that happens to him.
“So proud of the effort my kids gave to win this football game tonight.
“I’ve got pretty good eyesight. The view I had of that gigantic screen in the north endzone showed a player who was not down and our guy with the football.”
“The conference office reviews all things. I’m sure they’ll review this and I’m sure they will come forward with what they feel the play should have been called.”
On Friday, Anderson responded:
In accordance with Big 12 Conference protocol, I have reviewed several plays from last night’s Texas at Iowa State football game. Those plays include the personal foul penalty called in the endzone against Texas wide receiver Mike Davis, and the goal line play late in the game.
“The ruling made on the goal line play was that the runner was down by rule with the ball. Because of that ruling, instant replay is allowed to review the play, which it did. Had the ruling on the field been forward progress, the play would not be reviewable because the goal line was not involved. The replay official looked at all five views available for this play: line feed, goal line cart, press box angle, sky cam and opposite end zone camera. He correctly determined there was no indisputable video evidence to confirm that either the ruling on the field was correct, or that the ball was loose prior to the runner being down. By rule, when there is not indisputable video evidence to confirm or change the call on the field, the ruling stands.
On this play, the covering official ruled the runner was down and still had control of the ball. There is no question the runner ends up on the ground, and there is no question that eventually an Iowa State player ends up with the ball. However, after reviewing the video evidence it is impossible to tell with certainty when the runner loses control of the ball and at that point was he down or not.
The conference would acknowledge in this unique situation if a mistake were made, but we do not have the video evidence to prove that one occurred.
The play involving Mr. Davis is being addressed in accord with the conference’s Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Policy.
News on Bevo Beat is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of Hookem.com is included with an Austin American-Statesman subscription in addition to Statesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe today at statesman.com/subscribe.