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Did Big 12 Officials Screw Oklahoma On The Onside Kick?

Taking a look at the call that cemented the Wildcat’s win over the Sooners.



Getty Images - Ronald Martinez

Just in case you are somehow not already aware, Kansas State defeated Oklahoma on Saturday. But the game was closer at the end that it initially looked like it was going to be. After The Wildcats jumped out to a 25-point lead in the fourth quarter, the Sooners put together three quick scoring drives to pull within a touchdown of tying up the game.

Unfortunately for them, there was just 1:45 left on the clock. Out of timeouts, they needed to pull off the onside kick for any chance to send the game to overtime.

Initially, It looking like Oklahoma had done the improbable and recovered the kick. However, upon replay, it was ruled that Oklahoma receiver Trejan Bridges illegally touched the ball before it had traveled the needed 10 yards.

But was it the right call? Many of those in the Sooner’s fan base feel like their team was hosed by the the officials because they believe Bridges was blocked into the ball.

It would not be the first time a Big 12 officiating crew got the call wrong. According to rule 2-11-4-c, a player blocked by an opponent into a free kick is not deemed to have touched the kick.

So Was Oklahoma Screwed By The Officials?

Let’s just get this out of the way…despite choice angles and convenient screen grabs, Oklahoma was not screwed by the call. The officials addressed the call with the media and clarified that they did consider all aspects of the forced touching rule before overturning the call.

“We did consider all aspects of forced touching,” offical Reggie Smith told pool reporters. “However, based on Rule 2-11-4-c, this is why we came to the decision that we came to. Rule 2-11-4-c was the primary determination for considering forced touching.”

So why, if they considered the forced touching rule, did they still rule illegal touching and give the ball to Kansas State?

The Big 12 officials didn’t get anymore into the controversial call other than the statement above, but thanks to an NFL referee on Twitter, we may have some insight into that as well.

If you watch the play above, it’s pretty clear that both Bridges and the Kansas State player are unaware the ball is there as they block each other, and that might be the key to the official’s decision.

So it would appear, that the officials knew what they were doing after all, but we need to address a larger issue. Even if it was deemed that the officials blew it, there is no guarantee that Oklahoma would have scored the needed touchdown had they recovered the kick. There’s no guarantee they would have made the extra point, or converted on the two-point try had they chosen to go for the win. There’s also no guarantee that the Sooners win in overtime. A lot would still have to have happened for Oklahoma to pull off the win.

Simply put, this wasn’t the Oklahoma-Oregon game from 2006. The Sooners had no business winning this game. It’s hard to blame a 50/50 call after Oklahoma allowed the Wildcats to score on 8-straight possessions on a 41-6 run. The fact that Oklahoma even made it close is impressive. Not a lot of teams would be able to do that. But the Big 12 is too tough to show up for half of a quarter and expect to win the game. Just ask Texas, Iowa State and Texas Tech.

And hey, at least you didn’t lose by recovering the kick just to pitch it away to no one in order to gift wrap your opponent one last chance at the win…

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