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Texas takes advantage of controversial call to edge Iowa State

Texas v Iowa State Getty Images

With the football inside the five-yard line and time winding down the Texas Longhorns needed a touchdown to tie Iowa State, and an extra point to take a late lead. They got it, but not without controversy.

Texas running back Johnathan Gray pushed up the middle of the pile and had the football stripped from him by Iowa State, with a player running down field uncontested with what he thought was a fumble that would be returned nearly 100 yards for a touchdown. Instead, Big 12 officials ruled Gray was down by contact and possession remained with the Longhorns. Multiple video replays showed the ball was stripped and being returned downfield before the play was whistled dead. Texas got the video review to go in their favor however, and a few plays later pushed in for the go-ahead touchdown in a wild 31-30 victory Thursday at Iowa State. The game-winning drive was aided by valid penalties against the Cyclones, who were giving Texas free yardage and downs all the way down field to set-up the score. Iowa State was called for 10 penalties for 118 yards in the game.

Quarterback Case McCoy had his ups and downs throughout the night, but ended with 244 yards and a touchdown through the air and on the ground. It was McCoy who pushed forward on a sneak for the eventual game-winning score. The night was also marred by an ugly incident that saw receiver Mike Davis take a cheap shot on a defenseless Iowa State player. Davis was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct but was not ejected. A suspension should be likely from the Big 12 office in the coming days.

The win is the second straight in Big 12 play for Texas, now 2-0 to start conference play, but there will be plenty of holes to poke through in the Longhorns before their next game. After escaping with a controversial win at Iowa State and a 10-point home victory against Kansas State, the Longhorns must plug those holes before facing rival Oklahoma next weekend. Oklahoma has won each of the last two meetings with Texas by a combined score of 118-38, and the Sooners have won three straight.

Are we buying that Texas has solved their issues? Absolutely not. Iowa State racked up 30 points and 463 yards of offense. It was the second time this season Iowa State scored 30 or more points and a season high for total yards of offense. It was the third time this season Texas gave up over 400 yards of offense, something they did five times in all of the 2012 season.

Is Mack Brown still coaching an uphill battle? Absolutely. With Oklahoma up next, Brown and his staff must take advantage of the extra days to prepare for the rival Sooners.

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25 Responses to “Texas takes advantage of controversial call to edge Iowa State”
  1. alligatorsnapper says: Oct 3, 2013 11:35 PM

    Looked at the video numerous times on slow-mo and thought the ball came out before the play was whistled dead, however, the officials must have a viewpoint I did not have to say the play was dead before the fumble. I hate it when a game is decided over an official’s call, or missed call.

    Texas sure does not look ready for Oklahoma. There is only so much a team can do by next weekend.

  2. tulsacyfan says: Oct 3, 2013 11:36 PM

    Horrid, one-sided officiating. What good is video replay when they still can’t get it right?

    Pass interference calls need to be reviewable as, obviously does unnecessary roughness. How was the hit by Davis not targeting? Terrible, dirty play that should have resulted in Davis’ ejection. Game changing lack of a call by the Texas/ESPN officiating crew.

  3. amosalanzostagg says: Oct 3, 2013 11:51 PM


    Remember this is Deloss’s boutique conference. You think football officials would go against Texas if they want to officiate Big 12 football games ever again?

    Texas had to win to set up the annual RRR game. ESPN needs a conflict between OU and Texas, a sub par Texas record doesn’t sell, An undefeated Texas (in conference play) does. ESPN doesn’t care that Texas gets it’s head handed to them, because the game is already played.

    Texas is about control of a conference. On the field and off the field.


  4. stoicpaisano says: Oct 4, 2013 12:41 AM

    These refs around the country are just god-awful.

    Even if forward progress WAS stopped, that’s not what they were supposed to be reviewing (and it can’t be called after the fact). They were to look at whether or not the ball was out before Gray was down, and missed another simple call.

    ISU had clear possession before the whistle blew. As said above, what is the point of replay if the wrong call is still made?

  5. atmason says: Oct 4, 2013 3:10 AM

    What a travesty. College football is better when Texas is a dominant team, but they stole this game.

  6. honkerdawg says: Oct 4, 2013 4:09 AM

    Texas needed a win for some self respect and the officials and most importantly the NCAA gave it to them so they wouldn’t seem as BAD as their program and coach are.

  7. makimaguro says: Oct 4, 2013 4:56 AM

    The Linesman was obviously a ‘homer’ – watch the replay, you can see it numerous times. College needs to adopt a rule – somehow – like the NFL does where the officials switch sides at half.

  8. clonefan says: Oct 4, 2013 7:25 AM

    This says it all

    I hope that link works. Paul Rhoades is ticked off, but then so am I…..

  9. jayhawk6 says: Oct 4, 2013 7:51 AM

    It is crap like this that ultimately led Mizzou and Texas A&M to the SEC.

  10. huskersrock1 says: Oct 4, 2013 8:00 AM

    No one is going to care until it happens to their team. The Big “12” remains Texas and the Little 9.

  11. chmba says: Oct 4, 2013 8:45 AM

    As others state Big 12 is Texas and the (? number this week) lapdogs with Oklahoma being a slightly larger lapdog! Deloss (I da boss) Dodds runs the conference and Walt Anderson (who is (was) one of the worst NFL refs ever assured that the refs would stay in line!

    Get over it Bob Stoops….the SEC is better for a lot of reasons which is why they win the national championships!

  12. dhardy8207 says: Oct 4, 2013 8:50 AM

    Watched this game and thought the 2nd interference call and the “fumble” were both bad calls. Texas could not pull away from IState for the majority of the game and with those questionable calls there at the end just leaves the appearance that the Refs helped the Horns out a bit there at the end…

    A solid QB is the Longhorn’s most immediate problem…

  13. louforprethident says: Oct 4, 2013 9:19 AM

    I’m not sure why they have replay if they don’t overturn that call. Replay with sound clearly shows the ball is out before the runner is down and way before the whistle blew. The game was fun to watch until then. Let the kids decide who wins, not by refs blowing obvious replay calls in slow motion.

  14. cometkazie says: Oct 4, 2013 9:21 AM

    There are too many replays already.

    Imagine how short the games, both NCAA and NFL, would be if there were no delays for replays or commercials?

  15. artisan3m says: Oct 4, 2013 12:17 PM

    By rule, the ball is live until a whistle is blown and clearly no whistle had been blown on the questionable play. Also, “forward progress” is not a factor for the official ruling on the field was “down by contact.” The ball was clearly stripped before the whistle and the Texas player downed. IState gained possession. My ruling ~ blown call. My opinion is worthless but I did officiate for 26 years and logged two years in the old SWC. Now ~ ~ had not Iowa State gifted Texas with 45 penalty yards on that last drive, they might have won the game. Anyway you slice it, Texas had a helluva lot of help from officials and defensive fouls. The latter is part of the game. The former should not be ~ ~ ~ ever!

  16. bender4700 says: Oct 4, 2013 12:34 PM

    Anyone still confused about why Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, and Texas A&M all left?

    Texas killed the Big Eight, and the SWC at that.

    Now they are using the Big XII to overcome their crappy program. Has anyone done less with more? One title in how many years? Last title was a claimed title despite losing their final game. What a joke of a program.

  17. 8to80texansblog says: Oct 4, 2013 1:35 PM

    It was a bad call. Unfortunately it came at a time when it was almost impossible to overcome.

    Everybody’s team has gotten them to go their way and had them go the other way.

    It looks like Texas was the benefactor of a lot of those calls last night…

  18. txsmm says: Oct 4, 2013 1:52 PM

    My oh my. I must have been watching another game. The call was “down by contact” (not when did the whistle blow). Watch the play… in slo mo. You can see Gray’s body “jar’ as it hits the ground. One, one-thousand, two, one-thousand… oh there it is, an Iowa State player acquiring the ball and running toward the opposite goal. Nope, still down by contact. Good Grief. Accept the defeat, as ugly as it was. And yes, same ol story… if you don’t beat Texas, then it’s the conspiracy theory. It would be flattering if Texas weren’t so awful. What makes you think THAT’S a conspiracy? Also, not enough pass interference calls went Texas’ way… I saw Iowa State slopped all over Texas like some cheap goddawful red and gold suit most of the evening. Face it… ISU sucks just a little more than Texas does.

  19. txsmm says: Oct 4, 2013 2:20 PM

    And I just read bender4700. What the heck are you yammering about? From 2000 through 2009, no football program in the country won more games than Texas. None. And I’m not sure I understand your comment about claimed title despite losing the last game? I do recall a 2005 season with an opponent eating machine lead by Vince Young and the BCS National Championship Game that many College Football Officianados still say is perhaps the best college football game ever played. And as poorly as Texas has performed since 2009 when Colt McCoy went out of that National Championship game – driving about to score on an Alabama team that was on their heels )and dare I start the argument that’s bound to ensue by saying that had Colt not gone out, Texas would have embarrassed the Tide that night), the odd stat shown on the screen, last night, is that Mack Brown has more wins than any active coach save and except for Frank Beamer. Now about Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri and A&M… are Colorado and Missouri even playing football anymore? Seems they have fallen off the face of the earth. Nebraska? Mid-tier program at best. A&M? Awesome… for now. And I guarantee, there isn’t a conference in the Nation that wouldn’t take Texas at the bat of an eye… especially now that the longhorn Network has proved NOT to be the undoing of football as we know it.

  20. amosalanzostagg says: Oct 4, 2013 2:55 PM


    Viewing the world through burnt orange glasses.

    Texas has never recovered from Alabama beating them. Ttxsmm, what is Missouri’s record this year compared to Texas?

    Only in Texas Longhorn minds do they think

    (1.) Saban would leave Alabama for Texas.

    (2.) That the B1G, PAC -12, or the ACC would want Texas.

    To wit.

    Texas would have to give up the LHN to join the B1G or the PAC-12. Despite recent talks of Texas and Oklahoma being wooed by the B1G. OU can’t go because they have to take OSU with them to whatever conference OU lands in. The B1G isn’t taking OSU.Texas can’t go because they signed that pesky Grant in Rights in which all their TV money stays with the Big 12. You really think Texas gives up the money on the LHN AND TV rights to the Big 12 in order to go to the B1G? I want what you are smoking.

    Texas doesn’t have the votes for the PAC 12. Takes 8 to admit and UCLA, WSU, OSU, both Arizona schools, Utah and Colorado have already said nope to Texas. That’s 7 out of 12. Boise and BYU have greater chances than Texas in being admitted.

    ACC has Notre Dame, doesn’t need Texas and is one school away from being a superconference. Connecticut, anyone?

    Texas has pissed off more school Presidents, Chancellors and faculties with their
    “We’re Texas” attitude and all it has done is alienate conferences.

    Oh, can you tell me exactly what TV ratings the LHN has generated?

    Enjoy you boutique conference.


  21. amosalanzostagg says: Oct 4, 2013 3:06 PM


    Seem to remember Texas received the benefit of another controversial call last year in Stillwater when they played OSU.

    Another controversial call in Ames last night in which
    Texas received the benefit.

    See a pattern developing here?


  22. jjsooner says: Oct 4, 2013 3:31 PM

    jayhawk6 While I agree with your frustration over Texas, Mizzou, Nebraska and A&M left because they couldn’t win in the BIG 12. Nebraska is certainly missed but even that program has slid a bit. A&M left because they hated Texas more than the U.S. hates the Taliban. That’s one bitter relationship. OU has B slapped Texas the last couple of years and that won’t change in 8 days. Mack has been a gracious & successful coach. The true villain in this is Dodds and I’m thrilled he’s leaving. He is personally responsible for why so many people hate UT. His arrogance and that of the boosters has derailed this school to its current state. Is it so hard to win, be gracious and not bully other schools?

  23. jjsooner says: Oct 4, 2013 3:34 PM

    huskersrock1 Really????? When was the last time UT won a conference Championship?? Your Huskers, while I miss them alot, are a better fit in the Big 10 geographically. And yes I know you guys hated UT alot and I don’t blame you but UT is coming back to earth.

  24. barnesaintnoble says: Oct 4, 2013 3:41 PM

    Makes sense why Nebraska, Colorado, A&M and Mizzou all left the Big 12. That conference has been on life support for some time. I don’t know where the final dagger will come from, but you can almost see those dark clouds forming in the distance.

  25. amosalanzostagg says: Oct 4, 2013 4:45 PM

    The Big 12 will be on life support when the first conference attains super conference status.

    ACC has 15 teams(with ND)

    B1G has 14 teams.

    SEC has 14 teams.

    Pac-12 , obviously, 12 teams.

    7 slots.

    Big 12, obviously has 12, er 10 teams. Guess where the four super conferences get their teams?

    OU and OSU to the SEC since OU and OSU are joined at the hip by the Oklahoma legislature.

    West Virginia and Iowa State to the B1G.

    Boise, BYU and the two Kansas schools to the PAC-12.

    Connecticut to the ACC,

    Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, and Baylor are looking for a home. Can you say AAC?

    Texas destroys three conferences, the SWC, the Big 8, and the Big 12.

    Food for thought.


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