The Big 12 says its officials got it right. Or at least, there wasn’t indisputable evidence showing they got it wrong.
Big 12 Supervisor of Officials Walt Anderson said Friday that the replay official at Thursday night’s game between Texas and Iowa State properly upheld a disputed fourth-quarter call that allowed the Longhorns to keep the ball after an apparent fumble near the goal line with just over 1 minute to play.
Texas running back Johnathan Gray was ruled down on the Iowa State 1 as Cyclones defender Jeremiah George sprinted in the other direction with the ball.
Gray had been ruled down on the field and the game was stopped for a review. The replay official decided the ruling could not be overturned, and Texas scored the winning touchdown two plays later for a 31-30 victory.
“The view I had of that gigantic screen in the north end zone showed a guy that was not down and our guy with the football,” a fuming Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said after the game.
Anderson said the replay official studied five angles of the play and “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.”
Without indisputable evidence, the ruling on the field must stand, Anderson said.
“There is no question the runner ends up on the ground and there is no question than 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.”
The conference would admit a mistake, but “we do not have the video evidence to prove that one occurred,” Anderson said.
Anderson also said the league is reviewing a personal foul penalty in the fourth quarter against Texas wide receiver Mike Davis, who was flagged after lunging at the knees of Iowa State’s Deon Broomfield.
Anderson said the play would be addressed in accord with the league’s sportsmanship and ethical conduct policy, but did not indicate if Davis would be punished. League rules allow a player to be punished for unsportsmanlike conduct, ranging from a private reprimand to suspension from practice or games. If Davis is punished, league rules allow only the university president or chancellor may appeal.