Ames, IA, United States (4E Sports) – Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads criticized Big 12 game officials after a Texas fumble at the goal line was ruled down by contact, resulting to a bitter 31-30 defeat to the Longhorns.
“I’ve got the privilege as the head coach of this football program to face my players, win or lose, and look them in the eye and tell them how proud I am of the work they put forth, the effort they gave,” Rhoads said.
“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,” he added.
The play in question happened on first-and-goal from the 3. Texas’ Johnathan Gray rushed up the middle and was met by several Iowa State defenders.
While Gray continued to push his way closer to the end zone, ISU linebacker Jeremiah George swiped the ball out of Gray’s arms and ran down the field.
The play was ruled down by contact after a 1-yard gain. After review, officials determined the ruling on the field “stands as called” because video evidence wasn’t indisputable.
Texas eventually scored on a 1-yard dive from quarterback Case McCoy on third down to take a 31-30 lead.
“The conference office reviews all things,” Rhoads said. “I’m sure they will review this, and I’m sure they will come forward with what they feel the play should’ve been called.
“I’ve got pretty good eyesight. The view I had of that gigantic screen in the north end zone showed a player that was not down and our guy with the football,” he added.
Big 12 supervisor of football officials Walt Anderson released a statement defending the judgment made by the game officials.
Anderson said the replay official had reviewed five camera angles and correctly determined that video evidence could not confirm that Gray lost the ball before being ruled down.
“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,” Anderson said. “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.”
Rhoads was also unhappy that Iowa State was penalized 10 times for 118 yards on the night, while Texas committed six penalties for 62 yards.
“We were the least-penalized team in the league coming into this game,” he said. “There sure seemed to be a lot of hankies on the field tonight. I’m sure they made tremendous calls all night long in regards to that.”