Texas Tech felt like it got ripped off in their 33-30 double overtime loss to No. 18 Baylor on Saturday, and it turns out they were.
With Baylor holding the ball in the top of the first overtime, Baylor center Jake Fruhmorgen snapped the ball off his own leg, with a clear recovery by Texas Tech defensive lineman Jaylon Hutchings. However, the play was blown dead and Baylor was assessed with an illegal snap penalty, allowing the Bears to keep the ball.
Watch for yourself below.
Big 12 refs ruled this an illegal snap, and I'm not sure what's illegal about it? pic.twitter.com/IM8DTKmUlq
— Zach Barnett (@zach_barnett) October 12, 2019
As FS1 officiating expert Dean Blandino explained on the broadcast, a legal snap has to be hiked by the center in one motion and leave the center’s hands, both of which happen on Fruhmorgen’s snap.
While not directly costing Texas Tech the game, the penalty did deny the Red Raiders the ball with a chance to win the game on a field goal or a touchdown.
On Sunday, Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt released a statement saying the Big 12 acknowledged to him the illegal snap penalty should not have been called.
“It has been confirmed that the ruling on the field of an illegal snap was incorrect,” Hocutt said. “The play is not reviewable by rule because it is a dead ball judgment call by the official. I am confident that the Big 12 Conference will deal with the matter internally as they complete the review of the game in its entirety.”
Officials are human, but to see a referee intervene in a crucial moment with an incorrect penalty is an error that simply cannot happen, and it’ll be interesting to see if the officiating crew in question faces any public accountability.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.