Big 12 reviews goal line play, releases statement on ISU-Texas football matchup


Texas sophomore running back Johnathan Gray gets swarm tackled by Iowa State defensive players at the goal line. Gray controversially lost the ball during the play. After review the officials ruled that Gray was down before the ball came loose.

Alex Halsted

The Big 12 Conference announced Friday that it has reviewed plays of interest from Iowa State’s 31-30 loss Thursday night against Texas. 

With 1:08 remaining and the Cyclones leading the Longhorns 30-24, ISU linebacker Jeremiah George came out of a pile as Texas drove at the 1-yard line. The official ruled that Texas running back Johnathan Gray was down before the fumble occurred and the call was later upheld after review. 

Walt Anderson, supervisor of Big 12 Football Officials, said Friday that the replay official made the correct call because there was no indisputable video evidence to change the original ruling. 

Anderson said Texas wide receiver Mike Davis’ personal foul penalty, which occurred when he dove into the knees of ISU defensive back Deon Broomfield with 4:30 remaining in the third quarter, is being addressed in accordance with the Conference’s Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Policy.

The full statement from Anderson: 

“In accordance with Big 12 Conference protocol I have reviewed several plays from last night’s Texas at Iowa State football game. Those plays include the personal foul penalty called in the end zone against Texas wide receiver Mike Davis, and the goal line play late in the game.

“The ruling made on the goal line play was that the runner was down by rule with the ball. Because of that ruling, instant replay is allowed to review the play, which it did. Had the ruling on the field been forward progress, the play would not be reviewable because the goal line was not involved. The Replay Official looked at all five views available for this play: Line Feed, Goal Line cart, Press Box angle, Sky Cam, and Opposite End Zone camera. He correctly determined there was no indisputable video evidence to confirm that either the ruling on the field was correct, or that the ball was loose prior to the runner being down. By rule when there is not indisputable video evidence to confirm or change the call on the field, the ruling stands.

“On this play, the covering official ruled the runner was down and still had control of the ball. There is no question the runner ends up on the ground, and there is no question that eventually an Iowa State player ends up with the ball. However, after reviewing the video evidence it is impossible to tell with certainty when the runner loses control of the ball and at that point was he down or not.

“The conference would acknowledge in this unique situation if a mistake were made, but we do not have the video evidence to prove that one occurred.

“The play involving Mr. Davis is being addressed in accord with the Conference’s Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Policy.”