Posted October 04, 2013

Paul Rhoads goes nuclear after Texas escapes Iowa State with controversial late call

Big 12, Hot Seat, Iowa State Cyclones, Mack Brown, Paul Rhoads, Texas Longhorns


(Via Cyclones.com)

Two college football coaches have been fired in the last week, and a third could have been imminent had Texas been unable to pull out a victory over Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, on Thursday night. The Longhorns used a Case McCoy goal-line touchdown with 48 seconds left to play to retake the lead, 31-30, and pull out the win over the Cyclones.

Texas isn’t out of the woods at all. The team gave up 30 or more points for the third time in five games, and ISU had 429 total yards on the day, proving the Greg Robinson defense hasn’t been much of an upgrade over that of the departed Manny Diaz. Remarkably, as bad as everything has been, the Longhorns are 3-2 and 2-0 in the Big 12.

But the winning score wasn’t without controversy, as a non-fumble call led to a postgame outburst by Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads (video at top).

While Brown might not be around Austin much longer, as suggested by Longhorns legend Earl Campbell’s comments this week, the late game theatrics (and the arguable gift from the Big 12 officials) may have bought him a short reprieve. The hot seat circus will now follow him into the Red River Rivalry on Oct. 12 vs. Oklahoma

Here are three quick thoughts from Texas’s 31-30 win over Iowa State on Thursday [BOXSCORE]:

Texas running back Johnathan Gray: While there aren’t a lot of positives to the Texas season thus far, the biggest has been the play of the Texas sophomore runner. Gray, a former Rivals five-star recruit and the fifth best player in the class of 2012, has rushed for more than 400 yards in the past four games, including 88 yards and a touchdown against the Cyclones.

Gray is one of those runners who gets better when he starts going downhill. And when Texas is able to block effectively (something that hasn’t happened nearly enough when Case McCoy has played for the injured David Ash), Gray has a chance to pick up yards in a hurry. Even with his attempts to cough up the football in the red zone on the last Texas possession, he’s got a bright future.

Iowa State quarterback Sam Richardson: Texas had trouble against mobile quarterbacks before defensive coordinator Diaz was removed for Robinson, and the change hasn’t really helped much. Richardson extended plays with his legs and was able to complete enough passes to give Iowa State the lead in the fourth quarter before the game-winning drive by the Longhorns. Richardson isn’t an incredibly accurate quarterback (career 60.7 percent completion percentage), but the Longhorns D could make Junior Floyd from Little Giants look like an All-Conference performer.

Richardson threw a 97-yard touchdown to Quenton Bundrage with 7:19 left in the third quarter, the longest pass play in Iowa State history, to put ISU up 20-17. He finished the day 14-of-21 for 236 yards and two touchdowns with 79 rushing yards.

Texas’ problems are far from over: Obviously having Ash out has something to do with the Longhorns’ struggles offensively, but it’s to the point now where you have to take Ash’s head injury as a situation that will be fluid for the rest of the season. Simply put, this is not a good offense. Case McCoy (26-of-45, 244 yards, 1 TD, rush TD) is a shadow of the college player his brother was, and he shouldn’t be doing much more than handing the ball off and throwing short routes. But the Longhorns insisted on throwing the ball against Iowa State and abandoning the run game for long stretches at a time. Teams better than Iowa State will key on that and make Texas pay in Big 12 play.

On the other side of the ball, the Longhorns run defense isn’t fixed by any stretch of the imagination. Iowa State doesn’t have an imposing run game and was still able to move the ball pretty well, finishing the day with 193 yards. Texas continues to be bothered by the arm tackling bug that has plagued the Longhorns all season.

There are some much more potent offenses the Longhorns are yet to face, and the three additional wins Texas needs to get to bowl eligibility will be hard to come by with games against Oklahoma, TCU, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Baylor left.

37 comments
TimHarb
TimHarb

I am sorry but the Big 12 needs to be checked for rigging games. This has happened way too many times in the big 12 in favor of certain schools.

Thomas5
Thomas5

In the video, clearly the ball starts to come out and the Texas runner realizes it.... he stops trying to get into the endzone and instead tries to down himself as you see him drop immediately to the ground.  Unfortunately it worked, but all the people who watched that game last night know that Iowa State won.  Texas just got a lucky call. 

Aggie81
Aggie81

If Mac Brown has any type of creditability left, he should at the very least suspend WR Davis for the attack on the Iowa State defensive player away from the ball.  That type of play should not be tolerated in any way, shape, or form regardless of what your win / loss record is.  

If no action is taken, then it show that Coach Mac Brown has lost complete control of his players.

Ol' Time Gator
Ol' Time Gator

ISU was hosed in this game by the officials.......four (4) defensive interference calls and two missed fumble calls on the last( and winning) drive for Texas and numerous bogus calls throughout the game.... it really strains the credibility of the officiating.  Apparently the big 12 is doing everything they can to save Mack Brown's job!  Here is a note...not gonna work!

Chalkie
Chalkie

What video were you using for heaven's sake? I used the lousy video GUI on Bleacher Report and stop'n'start clicking of the video and you can CLEARLY see the ball pop free right after the runner is hit (it's clearly the football, in the air, almost in the hands of the ISU player who later sprinted off w/it). This is BEFORE the runner's butt was on the ground. The ball was in the air as the runner fell, and grabbed by ISU. So, butt on the ground or not, that doesn't matter. It was a live fumble, and ISU recovered. As for the definition of "indisputable evidence"? Well, if a crappy slice of slo-mo online and a cheesy online GUI w/a touch pad click to start'n'stop can be used to discern this, what's the problem w/the evidence available to the refs? Did they not have the same footage as EVERYBODY in the stadium had on jumbotron TV?

And before you write this off as partisan, I'm not a Longhorn or Cyclone fan.

kevin41
kevin41

I watched the video replay in super slo-mo, and the runner's butt was on the ground before the ball got pulled out. Also, according to the NCAA Rulebook (rule 4, section 1, article 3): "A live ball becomes dead… when a ball carrier is so held that his forward progress is stopped. When in question, the ball is dead." The runner's forward progress was clearly stopped. There is no disputing this. It was the correct call.

bounce580
bounce580

People don't understand what "indisputable video evidence" means, do they?  Link me to the video or image that CLEARLY shows the ball out before progress was stopped and/or the play was called dead.  Not circumstantial evidence, INDISPUTABLE evidence.  You can't overturn the call on the field without that.  If it was ruled a fumble, Texas would have no argument that it wasn't.  


I don't see what is so hard to understand about that.   Was it a fumble?  Yeah, probably.   But without CLEAR EVIDENCE, you can't overturn it.  It's ridiculous that this doesn't get through people's heads.  

AaronThigpen
AaronThigpen

How is this at all nuclear?? He had every right to 10x more bananas than he did. You want to see nuclear?? Look at the bath salt induced rage that guys like Bo Pelini and Jim Harbaugh go into. That is nuclear. 

ApolloOne
ApolloOne

Hey, I sympathize with Iowa State, and the refs might have gotten that call wrong. But they might not have been on the one-yard-line had they not committed two pass interference penalties on that drive. So it's not really honest to point out only one cause of a loss when there are so many others.

And, yeah, Davis should be suspended.

muser
muser

As someone who is not a Longhorn fan, it seems more damaging for their fans and program to see them win with questionable officiating and dirty play that to see them lose...crank up the hysteria another notch!

Cool
Cool

The fact is that if his team hadn't blown a shot at a touchdown the previous possession, and settling for a field goal, this would all be a mute point, but with that said, the officiating was sloppy and looked to be one sided at crucial times, while Texas players were allowed to get away with a lot of holding.

Blinker
Blinker

When the ISU coach sneezes he looks like a party favor!!!!!!!!!!

Chris10
Chris10

Texas again gets a gift from the officials, just like OKST last year.  The ball was clearly out before he was down and clearly recovered by Iowa State.  Should have been a Cyclone victory.  The big 12 will apologize again but that means nothing.  The only real way to deal with it is fix the problem, which hasn't been done.

astronix
astronix

Texas is 2-0 in the Big 12 but they have only played two of the worst teams in the conference. If Mental-Case is the QB against OU they are going to be destroyed.

jdane
jdane

What an a-hole. Does he think he's auditioning for Friday Night Lights?


GoatHammers
GoatHammers

He is absolutely right.  I have never been more embarrassed about a win.  Mike Davis should have his butt benched as well for the OU game.

Blinker
Blinker

Give the coach a break.  I'm sure he feels his team was robbed.  There were quite a few questionable calls but the refs are human.  There were SO many missed holding calls (one in the red zone that allowed ISU to run to the left and get into the end zone) and others that this whole game was a mess.  The coach is just frustrated and I can understand his pain.

tfaw
tfaw

seemed more like will ferrell....

quinoconnor
quinoconnor

@martinrickman Think that was a Case McCoy TD with 48 seconds left, not J. Gray. Gray was the fella trying to give it away on plays 1 & 2.

TCUfan
TCUfan

@Aggie81 Not often I agree with an Aggie, but that was as egregious of a foul as I've ever seen in, well, a lot of years of watching football.

Even worse than the late hit on Colt McCoy that knocked him out against a certain rival. And would have had the player thrown out for targeting now days.

TCUfan
TCUfan

@Ol' Time Gator Funny that for years the beef was that SEC officials clearly favoring certain teams and there were indeed questionable calls at times for the better teams. Alabama getting like one holding call the entire year in 2009 I think? That's just impossible.

 The interference calls were clearly obvious on three of them and the fourth was questionable. The second fumble was clearly recovered by Jonathan Gray. The first fumble though, I thought it would get overturned for sure. Didn't look like he was down to me.

kevin41
kevin41

@Chalkie Mine was just ESPN broadcast footage slowed down on my dvr.

Here, this might help:

http://cdn1.sbnation.com/assets/3335501/texasfumble_medium.gif

Look at frames 66 & 67. You'll notice that his butt, right leg and knee are already down. You don't see the ball get pulled out of his possession until a few frames later. "Back and to the left, back and to the left…"

Galahad25
Galahad25

@bounce580 It is indisputable that the runner lost control of the ball when the second defender puts his helmet on the ball and the runner is trying to hold the ball against his leg before he goes down.  At that point he has lost control of the ball and fumbled.

foolproof123
foolproof123

@ApolloOne You're an idiot.   So they had 2 PI calls which means they shouldn't be rewarded for causing a fumble?  Idiot.  

AaronThigpen
AaronThigpen

@ApolloOne so you're saying because they committed two penalties prior that a garbage call is a justified thing? Are you kidding? That is just pure lunacy and you should stop posting after this. 

AaronThigpen
AaronThigpen

@Cool Moot point. And your point is beyond moot. The outcome of the game was changed by the officials. It doesn't matter what happened before, it matters what transpired after a garbage call to get a bad team a win. 

JimKirkwood1
JimKirkwood1

@Chris10 The Big 12 seems to have more than their share of bad calls. I still remember when Colorado got 5 downs against Missouri and thereby won a national championship

gary41
gary41

@Chris10 Fixing the problem has everything to do with money......

bounce580
bounce580

@Galahad25 @bounce580  Unfortunately, holding the ball against the leg still counts as control of the ball.  It hasn't come loose - the actual strip of the ball, or where Gray loses it to ISU is covered by ISU players.  

Don't get me wrong, I think it WAS a fumble, I just don't think there was enough evidence to overturn the call on the field.   If it had been overturned, UT's fans would be up in arms about exactly what I'm arguing about.  
If it's not clear, you have to go with what was called on the field.  

Cool
Cool

@AaronThigpen @Cool If it is your opinion that all games are won and lost with one particular play, then your point is taken... not that I agree, but at least it lets me know how your brain functions.   The fact remains that if they had not played a little harder when they were at the 13 yard line and pushed it into to end zone instead of settling for a field goal, it wouldn't have mattered what Texas did in their final drive.  The outcome on the final plays by Texas are perhaps questionable, but not conclusive, but from your comment I don't think anyone would ever convince you of that.  btw, just because someone disagrees with your points does not make their points "moot"  or perhaps you don't understand what the word means.  

AaronThigpen
AaronThigpen

Cool I'm confused by your comments. Had they not played a little harder? Did you mean had they played a little harder? There is no convincing to be done here, the call decided the out come of the game.  GO back to last year to the Packers vs. Seahawks game. It doesn't  matter what happened before, the call AFFECTED the outcome of the game and we all know it was the wrong call. I understand and know how to spell moot, which is exactly what your points are. They are moot because if that call goes the right way I'm not telling you how it is. 

Chalkie
Chalkie

@Cool @AaronThigpen Yeah, and this is the "moral victory" approach, too. "Well, we played a great game, however it's our fault that things were so precarious at that point." That's a lot of garbage, frankly. If it was clearly a fumble and should have been called one is INDEPENDENT of the point in the game - late, early, close - that doesn't matter. Sure, it makes a difference to the outcome if a blown call and dumb review results net your opponent 7 points and you were only up by less than that. But, imagine the same call made at the beginning of the game? Does it make it any less wrong? Or, if ISU had been up by 14...then the score and the win/loss is different. Or, what if it was an illegal hit and not a fumble? Is it any less wrong if somebody NEARLY gets their career ended or a critical injury instead of being seriously hurt?

We can second guess...but officials CANNOT judge whether to call these things or not. If they didn't have access to the same video the public has seen, then maybe the evidence was not indisputable. But if they did...maybe they DO need glasses, or a clue, or a refresher course in officiating (or a reprimand or penalty).