Friday, October 19, 2012
Notre Dame mailblog: Officiating drama
By Matt Fortuna
Apparently my mail this week got mixed up with Shawn Hochuli's.
L. Taylor from Memphis, Tenn., writes: Why should N. Dame be ranked so high when everyone knows that they get every controversial call, every game they play. and there's always replays and 99% of the time its going N.D. way
Chris from Denver writes: Matt, Why do you insist on calling the Usua Amanam hit on Golson "helmet-to-helmet" when replays confirm that it was, at most, a shoulder-to-helmet hit? Yes, it was flagged as a helmet-to-helmet hit, but the refs missed it (as Mike Pereira, former chief of NFL officiating and current FOX analyst, confirmed).
Scott from Grand Rapids, Mich., writes: Matt, why does espn keep fueling the fire about call on goaline? First and foremost these officials ARE NOT homers as they are pac-12 refs, forward momentum was stopped, whistle blown, elbow touches ground, THEN ball crosses plane. The officials made the CORRECT CALL, does espn hate the IRISH as much as the sorry little10 fans I live around?
Eric Todd from Milan, Tenn., writes: Please show this to all your colleagues to prove he was in fact down before the ball crossed.. ND deserves the credit and its not fair that everyone at ESPN is saying he was in. This clearly shows it.
Bob from Manchester, N.H., writes: The call was correct. Thomas's left elbow was down before the ball broke the plane.
Matt Fortuna: Notre Dame won last week, right? It says so right here (and here, and here, and h...). I think I even vaguely remember standing in the pouring rain on the sideline Saturday as students rushed the field to greet their victorious classmates. Look, it was not the best-officiated game. There are a number of calls that could have gone either way, and we could sit here debating them endlessly, particularly the alleged whistle that Stanford coach David Shaw said came from the crowd on Stanford's third-down play on its last drive of regulation. (That missed spot after replay before Stanford's third down in the fourth quarter was a big head-scratcher, too. Also, why aren't more people complaining about Everett Golson's third fumble? It looked like he might have stepped out of bounds before coughing it up there.)
L. Taylor, I'm pretty sure that the Golson fumble call went against the Irish, as I'm also pretty sure that the infamous "Bush Push" call went against them, too. Notre Dame is ranked highly because it has won every game it has played so far. Chris, I refer to it as a "helmet-to-helmet" hit because that's what it was ruled on the field, the same way I refer to Notre Dame as 6-0 because, at the end of all six games they have played, they have had more points than the other team.
Irish fans, I don't see what's "not fair" about a game you won. (I think I even vaguely remember ESPN's "College GameDay" being on campus Saturday, though, again, my memory is not the greatest.) Officials ruled that Stepfan Taylor's forward progress was stopped before the goal line, and replay confirmed it. It was a play that did not have enough evidence to be overturned, as the national coordinator of NCAA football officials said Tuesday. Are things different if a whistle never blows that early? Maybe, maybe not, though I am inclined to believe that Taylor would have been stopped shy of the goal line, given the fact that virtually every Notre Dame defensive player was right there.
At the end of the day, Notre Dame won, 20-13, in an overtime thriller. Stanford had four chances to punch it in from inside the 5-yard line. You have to do better than what the Cardinal did there: You have to leave no doubt. Notre Dame was the better team in overtime. Credit to the Irish.