Stoops ‘incredibly disappointed’ with officials’ callsPosted: September 18, 2006
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said Sunday he was “incredibly disappointed” after reviewing videotapes of a disputed onside kick and pass-interference penalty from the Sooners’ last-minute loss to Oregon.
Stoops said he believes an Oregon player interfered with Oklahoma’s chance to recover an onside kick by touching the ball before it traveled 10 yards. The play gave Oregon possession and set up the Ducks’ winning drive.
He also said an Oklahoma defender tipped a pass by Oregon’s Dennis Dixon, and Sooners safety Darien Williams should not have been flagged for pass interference on a play that set up the Ducks’ winning score.
“The instant replay was brought up to eliminate issues like this. And here, there are a number of issues that are clearly — looking at video — wrong,” Stoops said Sunday.
On the onside kick, Oregon’s Brian Paysinger jumped in front of Oklahoma’s Malcolm Kelly and appeared to knock the ball forward to a group of players from both teams. Officials ruled that an Oregon player recovered the ball and was down before the ball squirted out to Oklahoma’s Allen Patrick, who picked it up.
“I see my guy stepping up inside of 10 yards to go up and gain reception, gain possession of the football, I see their guy go in front of him and hit the football before my guy is allowed to at 10 yards and I see him collide with my guy inside of 10 yards as well,” Stoops said.
“That’s illegal touching and interfering with the reception. And then I see my guy get up with the football that’s laying on the ground.”
Two plays later, defensive end C.J. Ah You tipped Dixon’s pass to Paysinger that resulted in a pass-interference call against Williams, Stoops said. Immediately after the penalty, Dixon found Paysinger wide open in the end zone on a 23-yard pass to give Oregon the lead with 46 seconds left.
As time expired, Oregon blocked Garrett Hartley’s 44-yard field goal try that would have given Oklahoma the win even after all the controversy.
Stoops said he hopes the sequence does not lead to the downfall of instant replay.
“I would hope not,” Stoops said. “Even though they acted as they did, at least the whole country and everybody sees what was … and what really happened.”
Pacific 10 commissioner Tom Hansen said the conference will review the onside kick and pass interference plays and announce Tuesday whether they were called correctly.
“I imagine they’ll have some kind of reply to the what the issues are and that’ll be it,” Stoops said.
Athletic director Joe Castiglione said Oklahoma was requesting a “comprehensive review of specific officiating decisions and use of instant replay” in the game.
“There should be no mistaking our very serious concerns about the events that transpired and the energy we will exert in voicing those concerns,” Castiglione said in a statement.
However, Castiglione noted the game’s outcome was irreversible and Oklahoma would be moving on in preparation of its next game against Middle Tennessee.
“In the end, it isn’t going to change anything,” Stoops said. “In the end, I’ve got to look at a bunch of kids who fought hard and have a loss right now.”
It’s the second time in a span of six games that an Oklahoma loss has been clouded by controversy. In Oklahoma’s last previous loss, three of the 12 plays on Texas Tech’s game-winning drive last November were reviewed using instant replay — including a 2-yard touchdown run by Taurean Henderson that gave the Red Raiders the lead.
Video replays on whether Henderson extended the ball across the goal line were also deemed inconclusive.