Ole Miss was Ole Pissed on Saturday, as the Rebels’ comeback efforts were thwarted, they felt, by the Pac-12 refs officiating the game. Ole Miss trailed No. 15 Cal 28-20 when, in the game’s waning seconds, John Rhys Plumlee completed a pass to Elijah Moore at the Golden Bears’ goal line. Moore was ruled short of the goal line, the play was not reviewed, and Ole Miss had to rush to the goal line and get off a hasty run play, which was stopped short.
Watch for yourself below.
Scott posted the best angle of the pass on Twitter.
Ole Miss 3rd down. Thoughts? pic.twitter.com/jeyN091LXs
— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) September 22, 2019
Ole Miss interim AD Keith Carter sent out this statement after the game:
“We are extremely disappointed by the officiating at the end of the game and are expecting a full explanation from the Pac-12 regarding the call and subsequent non-review of the 3rd down play. We feel strongly that the play should have been reviewed by the Pac-12 officials in the review booth. Even if the play didn’t result in a touchdown, the spot of the ball on 4th down was questionable.”
The Pac-12 obliged Carter by conducting a full review, and that review found the call on the field was correct. The league said it would have “supported” a review of the play, and Pac-12 VP of officiating David Coleman said it “probably should” have been reviewed.
“Given the closeness of the call, and that it was an end-of-game scenario, it probably should have been stopped by instant replay for review,” Coleman said. “However, as there was not irrefutable video evidence that the ruling … could be overturned to a touchdown, it was the correct call.”
What Ole Miss isn’t saying is that stopping the game to review the spot would have given them a tremendous advantage. Ole Miss was out of timeouts and the Moore catch came on third down, meaning a review was the Rebels’ only chance of stopping the clock.
Even still, the side judge marks Moore short with 13 seconds to play. TV cameras cut away after that point so we can’t see exactly when the ball is marked for fourth down, but when the camera cuts back at five seconds the umpire has already placed the ball and is well on his way to returning to his position in the corner of the end zone, and Ole Miss still has not snapped the ball, which does not come until the 2-second mark. At that point, a discombobulated Ole Miss offensive line fails to generate a push and Cal stuffs Plumlee’s sneak, ending the game.
Now that the ending has been given the full Zapruder film treatment, three things seem clear:
A) Anyone would be similarly indignant as Ole Miss had our team thrown a ball to the 1-inch line in the waning seconds of the game and it wasn’t reviewed.
B) At least half of Ole Miss’s outrage stems from the fact they wanted the refs to award them a fourth timeout via instant replay.
C) It’s hard to be upset at the officials for not reviewing a correct call.
D) Ole Miss could, and should, have done a better job hustling to the line of scrimmage to run a better fourth down play.