Posted October 06, 2013

Washington QB Keith Price comes up short on fourth-and-10 vs. Stanford, or did he?

Stanford Cardinal, Washington Huskies


No. 15 Washington’s showdown with No. 5 Stanford came down to the wire on Saturday, and it required some help from the officials to wrap things up.

Facing a fourth-and-10 on the Cardinal’s 49-yard line with 1:31 remaining, Huskies quarterback Keith Price scrambled to the right side of the field and found Kevin Smith downfield along the sidelines. Price seemingly connected with Smith just inside the Cardinal 35-yard-line, which would have given Washington a first down facing a 31-28 deficit.

Officials reviewed the play, however, and determined that Smith trapped the ball on the ground. Thus, the catch was ruled an incompletion, and the Huskies turned the ball over to Stanford on downs, ending UW’s shot at an upset bid.

Good call? Bad call? You be the judge.

80 comments
marineraz
marineraz

Awful use of video replay to overturn a correct call....don't know what you're talking about Stanfru...hands under the ball easy to see.

kpantsvp
kpantsvp

Bad call on the field perhaps, but no "indisputable" evidence to overturn it on video, either.  Nothing on the video disproves that his right hand was under the ball before one point of the ball hit the ground.  This was not the only weird call that day; the Pac-12 officiating this season has been atrocious and like the reversal of this call, usually reeks of "home cooking." 

Stanfru
Stanfru

I am a Stanford fan but try not to be biased. An earlier sideline play that I hoped would be overturned was let stand after replay -- and this was an excellent call. Last year's Notre Dame goal line call should have been overturned for Stanford but an honest Stanford fan must admit that was not indisputable. However, this 4th down play by UW was absolutely NOT a catch. I do not understand how the announcers or the majority of the comments think the evidence isn't there. The ball hits his chest and then the ground, then he cradles it under his left arm afterwards. The film at 1:12 shows this. If the replay official had not overturned this call then he should have been fired. He did his job even though ESPN and many viewers would loved to have seen the game continue.

reronemo
reronemo

Washington fan, so, biased.  I don't think there's enough to overturn the call.  My real complaint is that we have no way to know how it would have ended, had the initial ruling stood, and I feel cheated out of what could have been a great ending to a great game.

NancyMalcomson
NancyMalcomson

Definitely a bad call. Should not have been over-turned!!!

Fleecemonkey
Fleecemonkey

I think it looks like he trapped it, but wouldn't have been upset if they let it stand. It was a great game, and I'd prefer it not end at all. But if they made the call on the field as incomplete, no one would be complaining. Even if he made the catch, though, it's not clear that UW was going to win the game. They weren't in FG range (Coons not a great kicker: career long 45, and he's only 5-8 from 40+); this would've been ~51 yards or so. The Stanford pass rush was pressuring Price hard and they needed miracles to move the ball (it was 4th and 10 after all). UW might've been able to get to OT, and might've been able to win, but that's a lot of maybes. Instead of complaining about the refs (or worse, Sark claiming Stanford played dishonestly), you might wonder why they kept kicking to Montgomery when he'd already torched the Huskies kick coverage.

RobOliver
RobOliver

It hit the ground, and it's not even that close a call.  It's wishful thinking to try to argue otherwise. You can clearly see the ball below his hands on the turf from the TV replay

sushant
sushant

I think it's a trap, but I don't see indisputable evidence to overturn the call on the field.  The official on the field couldn't see that the ball had touched the ground. 

TomN07
TomN07

Horrible call. The referee on the field who was directly in front of the WR called it a catch.  Clearly there was no indisputable video evidence to overturn the call.  From the NCAA handbook:  "Without such indisputable video evidence, the replay official must allow the ruling to stand."

It is extremely disappointing that the outcome of a big game between ranked two teams was determined by a very debatable judgement call by someone who is in a pressbox seat and not actually on the field of play. College football fans and a national TV audience were shortchanged on a chance to see a dramatic finish after an exciting game. But the result was good for the Pac-12, as it kept one of their two national championship contending teams undefeated and in the hunt for the BCS title game. 

downtownfredbrown
downtownfredbrown

Winners: Stanford Special Teams

Losers: Austin-Sefarian Jenkins - College Football Fans - Pac 12 Conference - Pac 12 Referees

Word to the Wise: SNAP THE DAM BALL!


cooltpmd
cooltpmd

I believe it was likely a trap. with that said, the issue is that it was ruled a catch and it cant be changed without "indisputable" evidence. I am seeing a lot of calls like this overruled, but none of the angles I think was good enough to call it indisputably. 

Don Reticulo
Don Reticulo

Just a TERRIBLE call.  The replay official needs to be removed from his position immediately.  


If the call on the field was incomplete, it would be a TERRIBLE call to overturn it to a catch.  You just cannot tell.  The rules say if you can't tell you don't overturn.  Here the incompetent replay official discarded the rules and gave the game to Stanford.  There is no point in having replay if you do not follow the rules.  Seriously, this official should never be paid to officiate another game.  It is a disgrace.

leon1376
leon1376

Seems like we're seeing more and more of these "questionable" or "controversial" calls in the past few years. There's just too much funny business going on. What was the total amount of money bet on the outcome of this game? Maybe 50 or 100 million? More? A single "controversial" call can make someone a heck of a lot of money and I'm sure that "someone" will express his gratitude with a fat manila envelope stuffed with Benjamins. 

zenriding
zenriding

After reviewing the play sequence a few times, I agree with the call.  The balls momentum does not stop until it hits the ground.  If he had caught it, the momentum would have stopped before hitting the ground.  In the end, Washington could have won it but they didn't.  Set's up a great game next week against Oregon.  However, I don't believe either teams can run with Oregon. 

TheTruthIsHere
TheTruthIsHere

I do believe that the ball is laying on his arm and not the ground, I'm not a fan of either team so the outcome has nothing to do with my decision, it was a bad call and stanford got bailed out cause of there rank and not the play which is should've been 

PhysicsProf
PhysicsProf

I am a Stanford fan, so biased, but when I first saw the replay I yelled "Yes!!!!!" Tell me, Husky fans, that when you first saw it you weren't worried and hoped it wouldn't be considered indisputable.  That said I thought Washington played every bit as well as Stanford and could have won the game.

TheTruthIsHere
TheTruthIsHere

Hey these same Refs put notre dame in the national championship game all to get blown out by a way better team 

James C
James C

I have two big problems with this call. First, Why the heck is there not a better angle to look at this play from. The officials use the television replay angles to make the review calls, so the replay officials have the same views everyone else sees. I think in total there were two views of this play. 

Second, since you can not see both of the receivers  arms, as well as the ball in the view shown, I don't see how this can be considered "indisputable video evidence". You can not see enough of the situation to make a call like that on this play. 


I do think in the end, it was an incomplete pass, but I have yet to see an angle that makes this clear enough to overturn the call on the field. 


Maybe we are getting to the point that the officials need to start wearing helmet cams so the replay officials can see the play the same way the officials do, which interestingly enough was the angle that could either confirm or overturn the call the best. 


On another note, maybe it is time for the schools to install camera's at the stadiums they use in the following positions. 


One at each end looking straight down each sideline. One at each side look straight across each goal line and the same on each end line. 


These camera angles could also be fed into the national broadcast feed for fans to see each play clearly. 

HarshRealities
HarshRealities

I watched the replay a dozen times. I could not tell if the ball hit the ground. The call on the field was a complete pass. There was nothing on the replay that definitely showed the ball hit the ground. Play should have stood as called on the field.

don44
don44

Its good to know that the Pac 12 officials weren't just picking on the Wisconsin Badgers when they decide to give away games on horribly bad calls.   Stanford got their money's worth in paying them off before the game.  

minister
minister

It was a tough call but it was the right call. It is a lot nice to watch the games with the newer entertainment systems that allows us to watch the games and play video games. 

KrisBaker
KrisBaker

Not sure if it hit the ground or not, but I am sure that it certainly was not "indisputable visual evidence."  Shame to have the game end like that.

swededawg52
swededawg52

Another wonderful decision by the inept PAC 12 officials.

hualosman
hualosman

OK big time Huskies fan, I bleed purple and gold, love them with all my heart...and it was an incomplete pass. In the video, you can see Smith's hands out by his helmet from the front view, and on the back view, you can see the ball touch the ground. No way his right hand is underneath it, it's trapped between elbow, chest and ground. They played their hearts out, and with better special teams play, they would have upset Stanford again. Wishes and buts, candies and nuts...

DL_Tide
DL_Tide

So you can tell 100% the receivers fingers are not under the ball? The rule for overturning is 'indisputable'.

Florencio
Florencio

@RobOliver Exactly, all the comments saying it is indisputable and shouldn't have been overturned are ridiculous.  Just because one official called it a complete pass doesn't make it so, that is why they have instant replay in the first place.

chancat74
chancat74

@TomN07 The replay at 1:12 pretty clearly shows the ball hitting the ground before possession was established. So the referees got the call right by overturning the ruling on the field. The ref on the field directly in front of the WR made a mistake, and the replay process functioned just as it should.

TimHarb
TimHarb

@cooltpmd Problem is that it cannot be likely. It has to be beyond a reasonable doubt to over turn the call on the field.

chancat74
chancat74

@Don Reticulo But you can tell, and it's pretty easy to tell. The replay at 1:12 at the closer angle clearly shows a trap of the ball.

downtownfredbrown
downtownfredbrown

@Don Reticulo How about the Personal Foul "unnecessary roughness" on a legal block during a Washington punt returnreturn!!!!?

Dean9
Dean9

@zenriding so you are saying conjecture that it was the ground and not his hand is now considered conclusive evidence?

A36
A36

@zenriding UW will get ripped by Oregon precisely because they effectively play the same uptempo game.  Stanford's conservative play calling at the end (which Shaw is nauseatingly doing more and more) is what kept UW in the game, particularly that 3rd and 5 end around with 4 minutes to go.  

Needless to say, that won't happen against Oregon.

KonaDan
KonaDan

@PhysicsProf Like the ESPN announcers, I had no doubt that it was a catch and was totally shocked, as they were, at the changing of decision on the field -- a decision made by a referee who was on the ball side of the catch, unlike ANY of the camera angles . There was no evidence to change that decision, and they did it anyway. Suspicious, to say the least.

A36
A36

@PhysicsProf That's my point.  The mere fact that an underdog, on the road, who had trailed the entirety of the game, gets a catch call on the field for something that I initially thought was a trap seems to be totally kosher with most of these people.

leon1376
leon1376

@HarshRealities I saw nothing but green beneath the receiver's hand. The refs saw green as well, but it was a different kind of "green", if you catch my meaning. 

A36
A36

@HarshRealities Play shouldn't have been called on the field as such in the first place.  Oh wait, that bias is totally cool.

KonaDan
KonaDan

@hualosman Right, and I am Warren Buffet. I'm giving you all my money in my will.

RobOliver
RobOliver

@DL_Tide Yes, you can tell with 100% certainty his hands are not under the ball. You can see his hands at shoulder level with the ball squirm below that on the ground

Don Reticulo
Don Reticulo

@Florencio @RobOliver ????  The above comment makes no sense.  


The point of replay is to take a questionable call and overturn it based on no evidence just to overturn it to a different questionable call?  I don't think that's how it is supposed to work.

Cory J
Cory J

@chancat74 @TomN07 - You must be watching a different video than the rest of us.  There is nothing at 1:12 (or any other time) which shows the ball clearly on the ground without his hands on it (which is what is required to overturn a call of completed pass.)

Don Reticulo
Don Reticulo

@chancat74  You must have some special x ray vision.  I see nothing close to clearly showing whether this was a catch or a trap.  Maybe you and the replay official have the same super powers to see through people on a video replay.  I unfortunately do not have that ability.

DL_Tide
DL_Tide

You can see the receiver's fingers or his palm?

KonaDan
KonaDan

@A36 @zenriding Yes, no reason to even play the game. Oregon is just so great. And to think of their humble origins. So much for humble!

Dean9
Dean9

@A36 @PhysicsProf well you aren't the ref on the field with the on the field view and the camera view does not show enough to reverse it.  Any time a receiver has his hands between the ball and the ground it is going to look like  a trapped ball...so that means any catch that looks like a trap should be a trap?

Dean9
Dean9

@A36 why shouldn't it have been called a catch?  What did you see that we didn't? and maybe you should look up what bias actually means.

Cory J
Cory J

@RobOliver @DL_Tide - Not sure which picture you're looking at, but none of the ones I have seen show indisputable proof.  You're simply being willfully ignorant to serve your argument.