OXFORD • The Pac-12 Conference issued a statement Sunday night that doesn’t exactly stand by its man – or men.
The conference said the correct call was made when officials ruled that a catch by Ole Miss receiver Elijah Moore on the next to last play of California’s 28-20 victory was not a touchdown.
However, the conference said it would have supported a video review of the play.
The conference did not say the officials erred in not initiating the replay but did question their judgment.
“The conference would have supported play being stopped by Instant Replay for further review to confirm the on-field call of the second to last play of the game,” Pac-12 officals wrote on the league’s web site.
The final play of the game was also reviewed and upheld the initial ruling that a quarterback sneak by John Rhys Plumlee did not score a touchdown.
Ole Miss coach Matt Luke said he was more concerned with Moore’s catch – even though it was not ruled a touchdown. The Rebels were out of timeouts. Had the officials initiated the replay process the clock would have stopped, and Ole Miss coaches could have discussed what play to run in an attempt to tie the game and force overtime.
“I think he scored,” Luke told reporters.
But with the clock running, Luke said he felt a quarterback sneak was his only option.
The Pac-12 statement said the officials’ calls would have been upheld but that they should have taken advantage of the replay system.
“Prior to the last play of the game, Instant Replay observed replay video from a camera angle down the goal line and determined that there was no irrefutable video evidence that there was a touchdown on the third down play. However, the conference acknowledges that Instant Replay should have used better judgment to stop play for a formal review of the third down play.”