Blown Safety Call May Have Cost Texas Upset Over Alabama
The Alabama Crimson Tide barely scraped by with a 20-19 win over the Texas Longhorns on Saturday, but a combination of too many penalties and intense defensive play kept the Tide's offense, led by returning Heisman winner Bryce Young, from performing at their usual level.
But that final score could have looked a lot different after one of the strangest sequences in recent memory occurred on what everyone assumed was a safety.
After a Texas punt put Alabama on their own 1-yard line, Nick Saban's squad was looking for a way out. Cue the Texas rushing game that had been giving the Tide fits all day.
A blitz ended with Young going down in the endzone and the ball flying away. The stadium erupted in cheers.
Until the yellow flag flew in.
The referees conferred, with the lead ref calling for roughing the passer and targeting. Everyone, from the sidelines to the stands to the commentary booth, was outraged.
After a lengthy review, with the commentary team speculating (and pretty much condemning) the penalty calls, they were waved off after review. There weren't two calls, as originally thought, but one - roughing the passer. However, upon closer inspection of the film, it seems that Young may not have been down as, instead of hitting the ground, he went up and over the back of the defender tackling him.
The referees decided that Young, because of this, was not down and the play was neither a safety nor a penalty. It was actually just an incomplete pass.
The call was met with outrage both in the stadium and online.
Of course, it wasn't the only questionable refereeing of the game.