In a statement published today on the MAC website, MAC Coordinator of Officials Bill Carollo commented on two plays from last night's UB-Ohio game.
I wonder what they could be!
Ohio's lone turnover of the night came on a fumble as the Bobcats were stringing together a solid drive and threatened to draw first blood on the Bulls. Khalil Mack got credit for the forced fumble and fumble recovery, but they play went to review. Video evidence showed that the runner's knee hit the ground, but did not allow in my opinion for a view that showed both the knee and the ball at the same time, so the replay official could not be certain enough to overturn the call on the field.
The reality of this situation is, as Tim said on Last Bull In, that the call on the field, whichever direction it went, was not going to get overturned. It's a shame that for the first #MACtion of the year the conference got a couple of guys from the LFL to officiate the game, but that's what happens.
Mr. Carollo feels differently:
The first play with 14:51 remaining in the second quarter, where a fumble by Ohio’s Matt Waters at the Buffalo 28-yard line was ruled a fumble on the field. This is a reviewable play and after review, the replay official ruled that the play should ‘stand’. The NCAA replay philosophy with regard to overturning plays on the field is that indisputable video evidence must be provided to overturn the ruling on the field. The replay official felt this high standard was not met. However, after careful review the runner’s right leg was down before the fumble. This play should have been ruled down and the fumble overturned with Ohio maintaining possession.
I have not taken the time to watch more replays of the fumble, but I saw quite a few when the play occurred last night, and I didn't see an angle that showed both the knee and the ball at the same time. Of course, "indisputable" and "pretty much obvious" are the the same in most situations in the world, but sometimes they're not, and this is one of them.
The other play that Mr. Carollo has to talk about, well, I don't have much to say on it so I'll leave it to him:
In addition, early in the third quarter Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton was pressured by Buffalo defenders and threw the ball out of bounds which was ruled intentional grounding from the end zone and resulted in a safety. By rule the location of the pass attempt is not a reviewable play, per RULE 12, Sect. 3, Art. 1. In review, the proper call was intentional grounding, however, Ohio’s Tettleton threw the pass in the field of play and not from the end zone. This play should not have resulted in a safety. The next play should have been fourth down at the spot of the incomplete pass. This was an officiating error with regard to judgment and the officiating mechanics by the covering officials.
An embarrassing error that is not becoming of the MAC and of a nationally televised game. A decision that will go viral but really made little difference in a game that was fought and won in the trenches. Shameful decision making by Tyler Tettleton...
There's no mention of Tettleton here.
It's a terrible call. It really is. But Buffalo was getting the ball back with great field position no matter what. Tettleton!, the vaunted destroyer of Penn State, the consensus #3 QB in the Conference, the Senior leader with loads of experience and a great offensive line, the son of a former Major Leaguer! What are you doing running straight backwards for twenty yards? Why are you besmirching the MAC by forcing the overmatched refs to make that call? WHY AREN'T YOU A MORE WORTHY OPPONENT?
Ohio couldn't stop the running attacks out of Mount Pleasant or Ypsilanti, and they weren't going to stop BO. So while it was a garbage decision, I can't bring myself to think that the Bulls starting a drive at midfield with a 4 point lead is that fundamentally different from the same situation with a 6 point lead. In a different game, it might have been, but here, it wasn't. Focus your rage on Tettleton.
Kudos to the MAC for owning up. All that's missing is word that the officials have be reassigned to the Section VI High School Playoffs.