Penn State Vs. Ohio State: When A Replay Review Isn't A Replay Review


Take a look at the photo above. Now look at it again. And just for shits and giggles, take a glance one more time.

Any human being with functioning eyesight can see that what you are looking at above is not, in fact, a catch. That is an incomplete pass, and there is absolutely no other interpretation possible. The ball hit the ground, very clearly, making it an incomplete pass.

In real time, it was not so easy to tell. As a result, the officials on the field in the Ohio State-Penn State matchup at Beaver Stadium Saturday night called it an interception. No worries, as the replay clearly showed what we see in the screen grab above. The ball hit the ground, the pass is incomplete and the ruling on the field should be overturned.

Only it wasn't. The "interception" stood because, according to Big Ten officials, the proper video feed was not available to the referees. Pardon my French but … What the fucking fuck? Are you fucking kidding me? The entire point of the replay system is to get the call right. Instead, these laughable B1G officials got the call blatantly wrong due to technical difficulties — technical difficulties that could have been corrected had anyone involved in the game simply watched the television replay. As a result, the heavily favored Buckeyes got great field position to start the game, scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive — aided by an obvious missed false start penalty on Ohio State — and went on to remain undefeated in a 31-24 overtime victory. It was a play that had a direct impact on the outcome, one that is inexcusable on every level. But wait — it gets worse. Not only did the officials gift Ohio State a 7-0 head start, but they also gave the Buckeyes a much easier field goal attempt than they should have had, allowing Ohio State to snap the ball on a field goal attempt three full seconds after the play clock expired. The delay of game penalty would have made the 49-yard attempt a 54-yard attempt — certainly no gimme.

But wait, it gets even better. After Penn State scored a touchdown to take the lead in overtime and Ohio State followed up with a TD of its own, Nittany Lion linebacker Mike Hull was called for launching on the ensuing extra point, which was enforced on the next possession. Taking a look at the replay, Hull very clearly did not launch off a teammate to get more height — he jumped on his own accord and landed on his teammate, not a penalty.

The Buckeyes thus got the ball at the 12.5-yard line on their second possession, having to go only half the distance as they should have due to yet another obviously incorrect call.

Oh, then there is the fact that Penn State was forced to use a timeout it shouldn't have when it was driving to end regulation with a chance to win the game because the officials started the clock on a play they shouldn't have. Then, they charged Penn State for a timeout when head coach James Franklin was trying to explain that the time was wrong. Franklin was furious, claiming he never called timeout. That timeout would have been a huge asset on that final drive. Yes, Penn State was able to tie it and force overtime with a Sam Ficken field goal and even had a baffling spike when the clock was stopped, but that timeout would have allowed the Nittany Lions at least one more shot at the end zone to get the victory. Yet that chance was taken away, as was just about every chance.

Listen, I'm not one of those fans who typically cries about officiating. I don't think there are conspiracies, and I know refs are only human. But Saturday night, these calls, none more blatantly incorrect than the "interception" that directly led to seven Ohio State points, robbed a desperate and undermanned Penn State team from a huge victory.

I feel so bad for the Penn State players. Those kids played their damn hearts out and deserved a win for their hard work. The defense was phenomenal, with Mike Hull flying all over the field, Anthony Zettel scoring on a pick six and the entire unit making a red-hot Ohio State offense work for everything. And the offense, while it was dormant in the first half, came charging back and did enough to win.

But it proved to be too much to overcome the inept officiating in this game. The Buckeyes, a much more talented and much more complete team, already had the advantage. Then they got more than an extra hand, playing with 12 men the entire game. It was a bullshit display, plain and simple.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have any gripes with the Buckeyes in the game. They were resilient and took advantage of every break the officiating accommodated them. They proved their mettle and never lost focus despite the comeback and the chaos.

The complete and utter failure on the part of the officials and the replay system is inexcusable, however. These were such blatant blunders that, quite frankly, everyone involved even remotely in that "interception that wasn't" replay should be fired and never allowed near a football field again.

It's really a shame, because that game Saturday night was a great one. An underdog fell behind 17-0 to a heavy favorite, rallied back despite everything going against it and pushed a national power to the brink. Yet the Nittany Lions were shortchanged because of a total failure on the part of the game's gatekeepers.

Penn State did not lose that game Saturday night. The officials took it away from those kids, and they should be held accountable for that pathetic display.

They say if you blame the officiating, you didn't deserve to win anyway. But it's impossible to win when the officials blatantly disregard their job. That's what happened in this game, and it should cost people their jobs.

It won't, because the Big Ten and the NCAA are both complete jokes. The least they can do is make a trip to State College and apologize to each and every student-athlete in that Penn State locker room whom they robbed of a marquee win, because no matter if you're a fan of the Buckeyes, the Nittany Lions or any other team, the players on the field deserved better.


9 Replies to “Penn State Vs. Ohio State: When A Replay Review Isn't A Replay Review”

  1. Sour F-ing grapes by this guy! Oh, PSU was "ripped off" by the officials. This guy is a typical whinner pretending not to be. Eat my shorts dude!

  2. This is philip cook that is Bo shit that reff need glass to see that is a chach if he can not see that get off the field that what I think some reff can"t call anything that why the crore boo them and I agree with them and I can see it on tv and I stand in front of my tv and see that look at the store border maybe they can see it andstead of going upstairs it is b shit get some reff that can reff the game of football philip cook and debbie

  3. Reading your article I thought there was an echo going off in my head. The only items you missed was the other side judge calling timeout for Urban prior to Ficken's kick to tie the game. As a Penn State fan through the Paterno era (and then some,) this is not the first time nor the last the powers that be will fuck over Penn State football. Start with the voting or lack thereof for the 1994 team (no Midwestern voted for conference member Penn State for #1 that year. Yet we hear all too often that as members of this farce/conference we must stick together to promote the our conference brothers,) to the questionable calls that went against Penn State made by officials of the Big Ten. These led to Paterno chasing them down after games and being the leader for instant replay within the conference. Fast forward to the big house and 2005-the extra time, the inbounds call when he was out by half of a foot, to Wisconsin (2011-?)game's call that took the momentum out of Penn State to ensure Penn State would not get into the first tittle game. OR the touchdown that was but wasn't in the Nebraska game 2012. To name just some of them. They (Big Ten) don't want us here! It ruins the mystique surrounding Woody and Bo. It is easier to accept Nebraska than the "Beast of the East."

  4. The reason behind the calls is very obvious. The Big 10 has had a terrible rep this year among voters. The only chance for redemption is to have a team high in the rankings. Had OSU lost to PSU it would have looked bad for the entire Big 10. This sets up a big game with big revenue for OSU and Mich State and then hopefully a bigger game and revenue when the final voting comes down. It is the same when the sanctions against PSU were reduced. It was announced that the reason was because PSu had been wonderful in their "behavior" when we really know the reason was the NCAA made a huge huge mistake to begin with. NEVER underestimate the politics involved with the NCAA and especially with the Big Ten Commissioner. This is a travesty at Penn States expense.

  5. The ACC now has 8 officials. Does the BIG? If not, they should. The excuse, they didn't get the right replay feed, sound fishy. Why not? We're told by TV announcers that the replay officials see the same replays that we see. What gives here? Do they or don't they? If they don't, who is manning what cameras for the replay officials?

    This whole fiasco makes one wonder if the B1G is even a legitimate Division I conference. And I'm a Buckeye fan secondly, a UL Cardinal fan first!

  6. This was one of the worst officiated games I've seen in a long time. The "interception", the play clock, the false start on Ohio State that wasn't called (PSU picked the pass from that play for a pick-6), the "timeout" by Franklin at the end of regulation, the "timeout" by Meyer in OT, the bogus call on PSU for leaping in OT. The list goes on and on. It was obvious that PSU got the worst of it, but in the end these officials shouldn't be in another game for the rest of the year. Thank God the Bucks were on the winning side of this one though, but the refs were deadset on determining the winner. I guess it's fitting since off the field people decide who's the "Champion" in CFB, why not this?

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