Mike Pereira reviews all the reviews
They say lightning doesn't strike twice. Well, I beg to differ. It actually struck three times Saturday on the opening weekend of college football.
While there were a few big upsets, Mother Nature not only seemed upset, she was downright angry. Two games had very long weather delays, while a third was called off altogether in the third quarter.
Let's start with South Florida and Notre Dame at South Bend. That game was delayed two different times for a total of 2 hours, 53 minutes because of rain and lightning. However, here's a stat that hurt even worse for the 16th-ranked Irish: South Florida 23, Notre Dame 20.
The other big delay came in the Tennessee Tech game at Iowa City against the Hawkeyes. There was an 84-minute delay in this one, but Iowa handled Tennessee Tech, 34-7.
And finally, the Michigan game at home against Western Michigan had two lengthy rain/lightning delays and the game was eventually called when both teams agreed to end it with 1:27 left in the third quarter, giving the Wolverines a 34-10 win.
Hmmm ... and some don't think global warming is affecting our atmosphere. Right.
Now let's take a look at some of the hot calls on the field.
THE GAME: Tulsa at Oklahoma
THE SITUATION: Tulsa had the ball, second and 11 at the Tulsa 17-yard line with just over six minutes left in the second quarter. Oklahoma led, 23-0.
THE PLAY: Tulsa quarterback G.J. Kinne completed a pass to Ja'Terian Douglas for 6 yards and appeared to fumble the ball, which was recovered by Oklahoma's Aaron Colvin. The officials ruled the play down on the field, but after a review the play was reversed and the ball was given to the Sooners.
MY TAKE: You had to put the two pieces together to give the ball to the Sooners. The first thing the replay assistant looked at was whether or not it was a fumble. Once he confirmed the ball was loose, he had to have clear visual evidence of a recovery by the Sooners. Replays did show that Colvin controlled the ball before it went into any kind of scrum. Therefore, the Sooners were awarded the ball at the spot of Colvin's recovery.
THE GAME: UCLA at Houston
THE SITUATION: Houston had the ball, second and goal from the UCLA 13-yard line with 9:31 left in the fourth quarter. Houston was leading, 31-28.
THE PLAY: Houston quarterback Case Keenum completed a 12-yard slant pass to Tyron Carrier, who then fumbled at the 1-yard line. It was recovered by Houston's Chris Thompson. The ball was initially ruled down at the 1-yard line, but after a review it was determined that Thompson recovered the ball across the goal line for a Houston touchdown.
MY TAKE: Interesting review. I'm fascinated by the fact that NCAA and NFL rules differ, even in replay. This was a good reversal, and it gave Houston a touchdown. In the NFL, the fact that the player was ruled to have recovered at the 1 would have made the play non-reviewable. The NFL often discusses reviewing the recovery of a loose ball in the field of play, and maybe this play will persuade the NFL to adopt the NCAA rule, which would appear to be better in this situation.
THE GAME: San Jose State at Stanford
THE SITUATION: Stanford had the ball, second down and goal from the San Jose State 4-yard line, with 8:59 remaining in the first quarter. The game was scoreless.
THE PLAY: Stanford QB Andrew Luck attempted a pass to Levine Toilolo, but it was caught by San Jose State's Brandon Driver in the back of the end zone as he was falling out of bounds. It was ruled incomplete on the field and after the play was reviewed, the call was upheld.
MY TAKE: This is a play that was going to stand no matter what was called on the field. It's one of those you could make a case for that it was an interception, but it was too close to determine clearly that Driver gained control before his left hand hit out of bounds. The words "indisputable visual evidence" apply to the NCAA as well as the NFL.
THE GAME: Missouri State at Arkansas
THE SITUATION: Arkansas had the ball, second and 4 from the Missouri State 4-yard line with 6:17 left in the third quarter. Arkansas led, 3-0.
THE PLAY: Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson's attempted a 29-yard pass to Jarius Wright that appeared to be a touchdown, but was ruled incomplete on the field. After a review, the play was reversed and Arkansas was awarded a TD.
MY TAKE: This is a replay official's nightmare. He makes a decision not to review a play, which essentially means he confirmed the call on the field as being correct. Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino then challenged and the call was reversed to a touchdown. Quite frankly, the replay official is not doing his job correctly if this happens. If the coach were to challenge and the ruling on the field remained as called, then that's on the coach. But if a coach wins a challenge, the replay official has made a mistake.
THE GAME: Tulsa at Oklahoma
THE SITUATION: Oklahoma had the ball, first and 10 at the Tulsa 14-yard line with less than a minute left in the second quarter. Oklahoma led, 30-7.
THE PLAY: Tulsa was called for an illegal substitution infraction and the penalty was accepted by the Sooners, making it first and goal from the 9-yard line.
MY TAKE: You might not have realized it, but this was the new 10-second subtraction rule that was implemented by the NCAA this season. The illegal substitution foul by Tulsa prevented the snap. The clock was running at the time, so the rule states that 10 seconds are to be subtracted from the game clock. However, Oklahoma has the option to accept the 5-yard penalty, but declined the 10-second subtraction. This is a really confusing rule and for the first game, I think the officials did a good job of sorting it out.