I’m not sure who was busier — people who sold turkeys leading up to Thursday, or the scoreboard operator at Friday’s Fresno State-San Jose State game at Spartan Stadium in Northern California.
For starters, the Bulldogs and Spartans combined for 83 points — at the half. And all of it was done through the air, with the teams putting up 12 touchdown passes, six apiece.
But I think the Spartans got away with one they shouldn’t have, benefitting from a confusing play shortly before halftime that should have been ruled an incomplete pass.
Here was the situation: San Jose State had the ball 2nd down and 10 at the Fresno State 16-yard line with 3:09 to play in the half. Fresno State led 34-28 until Spartan quarterback David Fales threw a 16-yard sideline pass to Tyler Winston that was ruled a touchdown.
Here’s the problem: Winston had been forced out of bounds at the 3-yard line by San Jose State defensive back Jonathan Norton. That still gave Winston the right to come back in and be the first to touch the pass.
However, after crossing back over the sideline, Winston went airborne to catch the ball, and he did haul it in. But as he was coming down with control of the ball, he touched the pylon. That made Winston out of bounds a second time, and since he wasn’t forced out, the play should have been ruled an incomplete pass.
Take a look for yourself:
San Jose State wide receiver Tyler Winston (15) catches a touchdown pass over Fresno State defensive back Jonathan Norton (37) during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
In some conferences in college football, replay officials can confirm the initial ruling without stopping the game for a review. If this is what happened in this instance, the replay official made a mistake because this touchdown should have been reviewed — and then overturned to an incomplete pass.
A very confusing play to say the least. Probably almost as confusing as trying to keep track of the score in this one.