The Big 12 says its officials correctly handled a controversial call late in Texas’ 31-30 win over Iowa State on Thursday night.
With just over a minute to play, Texas running back Johnathan Gray was stopped short of the goal line, and Iowa State linebacker Jeremiah George ripped it away from him and emerged from a pile with the ball.
Gray was ruled down by contact, which is a reviewable play. He was not ruled down because his forward progress had been stopped, which was not reviewable.
Officials determined that there was not enough evidence to overturn the call on the field and rule it a fumble, which would have resulted in a change of possession.
“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,” Big 12 Supervisor of Officials Walt Anderson said in a statement.
Anderson added that lack of video evidence made it “impossible” to determine when Gray lost control of the ball and if he was down when the change in possession occurred.
“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,” Anderson said.
Anderson also said that Texas receiver Mike Davis’ hit on Deon Broomfield in the third quarter is being addressed with the league’s sportsmanship and ethical conduct policy.
After Texas running back Joe Bergeron scored a six-yard touchdown to give Texas a 24-20 lead with 4:30 left in the third quarter, Davis dove at the sides of Broomfield’s legs.
“I don’t have a history of being a dirty player & have never been called one. The tape without knowledge of the circumstances is unfair,” Davis tweeted on Friday. “The play call was an option to either a run or WR screen. My job is to protect our WR screen & block my defender. I wasn’t aware it was a run. Check the tape & you can see our other WR is also blocking his defender. I did exactly what we are taught to do on a WR screen. All that being said I am happy #26 was not injured.”
The Big 12 declined comment to Fox Sports Southwest when asked if Paul Rhoads would be punished for postgame comments critical of the game’s officiating.