by Travis Normand
On 29 September 2012, the University of Texas Longhorns traveled to Stillwater, Oklahoma to play the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Late in the fourth quarter the Longhorns found themselves trailing by two points with only about a minute and 20 seconds left in the game. The Longhorns put together an impressive 70-yard drive that apparently got them into the end zone with only 29 seconds left in the game.
The final play of the Longhorns’ game-winning drive was a two-yard run by Joe Bergeron. However, not everyone is convinced that Bergeron actually crossed the goal line.
At the end of Bergeron’s run, the officials signaled “touchdown,” letting everyone know that they could see (with their own eyes) that Bergeron did in fact score a touchdown by crossing the goal line with the football.
The play was reviewed via instant replay, and at the end of the review, the replay officials concluded that there was not enough evidence to call the play anything other than a touchdown (in other words, the officials couldn’t find conclusive evidence showing that the officials’ touchdown call could be overturned).
However, the instant replay video did catch enough action on film to start what can be called a legitimate controversy.
Upon reviewing the replay video, it is fairly clear that Bergeron actually fumbles the football before crossing the goal line. The replay video also shows that if Bergeron was able to recover the football, there is a strong possibility that he was down before crossing the goal line.
While none of the video evidence was considered conclusive enough to over turn the referee’s call of touchdown, it is conclusive enough to demonstrate that the referee made the initial touchdown call without being able to see the ball carrier’s position or the location of the football. In other words, the referee called Bergeron’s run a touchdown without seeing any evidence of an actual touchdown.
Upon not seeing Bergeron score the game-winning touchdown, the referee should have called him down inside the one-yard line. At that point, the clock would have most likely been stopped for an instant replay review (giving the Longhorns what would essentially amount to a time out). Upon seeing the same footage, the replay officials would have again stated there wasn’t conclusive evidence to overturn the referee’s on-field call. Finally, the Longhorns would have 29 seconds to either run another play, kick a field goal (for the win, as they were only down by two points), or possibly call a time out for further discussion (I am not sure if the Longhorns had any more time outs, however, they would have had ample time to discuss any game strategy while the play was under review).
This would have been the right call. The Longhorns would have most likely still won the game, however, at least their win wouldn’t have been given to them by the Big 12 Officials.
I would have posted a link to the Big 12 Conference’s YouTube.com channel, showing highlights from this game, however the conference has apparently removed the video.
To see other articles and coverage of this game, follow the links below: