Down six to the No. 3 Clemson Tigers in the third quarter, North Carolina State Wolfpack wide receiver Bryan Underwood scored what appeared to be a game-changing 83-yard touchdown. While one official on the play signaled that the score was good, another had whistled the play dead because he thought Underwood had stepped out of bounds. As you probably know, plays ruled dead can’t be reviewed.
(Which, as Deadspin pointed out, is too bad. It looks like Underwood stayed in bounds.)
Today the ACC coordinator of officials, Dough Rhoads, issued the following statement:
In last night’s Clemson at NC State game, the official ruled the runner stepped out of bounds and whistled the ball dead. In conformance with NCAA Guidelines, the replay official properly recognized the play as one that was not eligible for review.
Our office has viewed all available angles, each numerous times, in slow motion and freeze frame,” he said. It is not clear, in reviewing all angles, whether the runner stepped out of bounds or avoided any contact with the sideline. We recognize that within the number of images and angles viewed, some look like he did not step out of bounds while one looks like he did step out of bounds. In the end, this cannot be resolved beyond all doubt (ESPN).
North Carolina State fumbled the ball a few players later. Considering how close the Wolfpack were to pulling off a huge upset, this is a call that’s going to sting awhile for NC State fans. Clemson ended up winning the game 26-14.
Between this call and the ridiculous ending to the Arizona State vs. Wisconsin game from last week, it appears we’re in for a fun season of officiating.