Sunday, November 13, 2011

KU players, coaches perplexed by costly facemask call at end of first half

Kansas head football coach Turner Gill speaks with an official as KU took on Baylor on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas head football coach Turner Gill speaks with an official as KU took on Baylor on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 at Memorial Stadium.


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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Turner Gill

Kansas coach Turner Gill talks after his team's 31-30 overtime loss to Baylor on Nov. 12, 2011.

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A controversial call at the end of the first half resulted in a Baylor field goal and also left Kansas players and coaches baffled following BU’s 31-30 overtime victory over KU on Saturday.

On the Bears’ final offensive play before halftime, quarterback Robert Griffin III completed a pass to Tevin Reese for 28 yards to the KU 35 as time expired, but KU cornerback Anthony Davis was flagged for a 15-yard facemask penalty to give the Bears one additional untimed down.

“It wasn’t a facemask at all. I clearly saw it,” KU linebacker Steven Johnson said. “Sometimes, I’m just like, man. I don’t know if the refs are out to get us or what, but I feel like in some situations ... it’s just crazy.

“Sometimes it’s that same ref. I’ve seen him all the time. I’m just like, ‘Does he not like this school, this university or something?’ I don't know, man. It’s not in my control. I just continue to keep playing so we can pull it out.”

BU kicker Aaron Jones followed with a 37-yard field goal to cut KU’s lead to 17-3.

Because the game went to overtime, three points ended up being significant in the final outcome.

“From the (press) box, you can’t see some things that you’d like to see,” KU defensive coordinator Vic Shealy said. “The guys on the sideline, felt like he had ... they (officials) called a facemask, but it wasn’t a facemask.”

Shealy said that it appeared Davis may have had a hand toward the back of Reese’s neck, meaning there was a possibility the official could have called a horse-collar tackle.

The words from the referee, though, stated that KU was being penalized for a facemask.

“If they call horse-collar (tackle), then both hands have to be at the back, and one was in front,” Shealy said. “But you know what, the officials are in control of the game. It is what it is.”

KU coach Turner Gill said the play was one of three or four that the Jayhawks would like to have back.

“I think it probably didn’t go our way,” Gill said. “I thought that it was a tough call. That’s just the way it goes. There’s nothing you can do about it. You’ve got to play and respond back. I thought our guys still came back and responded in the third quarter.”

KU safety Bradley McDougald also said he didn’t see a facemask from where he was on the field.

“I’m not going to question the referee,” McDougald said. “This is his profession. This is what he does. If he saw facemask, we’ve got to live with it.

“Coaches do a great job of stating that we shouldn’t even be anywhere close to give the referee a chance to make a facemask call, so that’s just a small thing that ends up biting you in the end.”


Steven Mathew 10 years, 6 months ago

Controversial calls by refs in America...what's new?

10 years, 6 months ago

That has got to be one of the worst officiated games I have seen all season. Just my opinion from the stands of course, but when thousands of fans seem to be in agreement something is amiss. There's no doubt RG3 is a terrific athlete but the guys did a spectacular job for just over 3/4 of the game, very disappointing loss all round for the seniors, the team, and the fans. RCJH

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 6 months ago

Texas at KU, I think it was 2006. If Texas wins, UT and OU go to BCS bowl games, if UT loses only OU would have gone. Ironically, it would have cost the Big XII about $5-8MM in revenues, so technically I guess the refs made the right call.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 6 months ago

I didn't know that a "horsecollar" had to be with 2 hands. It was just a week or so ago that the announcers in one game I watched clarified that a "facemask" penalty could be grabbing any portion of the helmet, not just the actual facemask. Don't recall exactly where he grabbed, but the receiver was definitely jerked down - and all of that after time had long since expired. Really stinks to give up crucial pts with no time on the clock.

Marc Frey 10 years, 6 months ago

I want to know about the non-interfearance call with 40 seconds left in regular time. I understand that a 2-8 team will not get the benefit of some calls, but if a penalty is so clear and the refs decide to call it or not call it for the benefit of the better team, I want to know.

Andy Hess 10 years, 6 months ago

How about giving up 21 fourth quarter points? Anything controversial there? Handle your business on defense and those calls mean exactly jack squat. Excuses are for losers. Play like a champion.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 6 months ago

The coach is the answer to your question "Anything controversial there?".

Hail_To_Thee 10 years, 6 months ago


Had I not known that we blew a huge lead in the 4th quarter, I would have given more thought to the title of this article. But a "costly facemask" didn't put 21 points on the board.

Way to shrug off a complete meltdown on defense ONCE AGAIN!

Dyrk Dugan 10 years, 6 months ago

should have just rode him out of bounds.....shouldn't have been any hands anywhere near the the neck or face.

how many times are we going to let a team score when they take over the ball with under 30 seconds left in a half? we have to lead the country in that dubious stat.

WilburNether 10 years, 6 months ago

Good point. People can debate forever whether our player actually grabbed the face mask. But it was the last play of the half, time had expired, and all our defense needed to do was keep the ball from breaking the plane of the goal line. It was certainly not the kind of play where inches could be the difference between a first down and a punt, and it was imperative to bring down the ball carrier NOW. It was foolish to grab at, on, or around the Baylor player's head. Just another dumb, very costly mistake by our "defense."

troutsee 10 years, 6 months ago

A bogus call at the end of the first half and a bogus non-call at the end of regulation cost us the game where we outplayed the other team for most of the game. The B12 refs have always been against KU. I hope we never get this crew again. They were indecisive, reviewed everything, and overall STUNK!

John Percival 10 years, 6 months ago

amen. It was 2004 not 2006. remember it like it was yesterday. Dollar sings. BCS.

Kent Kossoy 10 years, 6 months ago

2004 the same thing happened with the Texas game. the call was so bad that it not only gave Texas an opportunity for the win, which they got, it was the imputus for the next years' Texas undefeated championship. The school still calls the play as 4th and 19. The road to a championship season. Thae call was so bad that it should have been offensive interference. A no call would have been as good. As for this game, the team and coaches lost this game. Should not have put this team in a situation for the refs to take the game from them. Both calls were bad and did result in contributing to the outcome. But our team still sucks and so does Kansas football.

Jayhawkintexas1973 10 years, 6 months ago

They should question this referee crew. 8 reviews in the first half, and one they didn't review was when Biere was on the ground already, contacted down, caught the ball, and the guy came in and targeted him late. No review, no penalty. That was a first down at the 15 of Baylor.

They called Breshears for holding in the 4th quarter, by a ref that was 40 yards down the field. It was a clean block. He laid out the defender. It was a big gain by KU that was called back on a ghost penalty, by the same ref.

The same ref also had responsibility over the Biere play, and Biere clearly had possession of the ball and the defender was on his legs. He was down. It was a complete pass.

The same ref also missed the PI on the last drive for KU in regulation. It was obvious, and it was the same ref that had responsibility.

This ref should be scrutinized heavily, and this game could be protested and KU can win it, but it won't change the w/l record. But it will force the NCAA to take action against the ref for whatever reason he didn't do his job, which I suspect was due to betting on this game.

Jayhawkintexas1973 10 years, 6 months ago

With that said, there was no reason for KU to go into a prevent defense in the fourth quarter up by 21. One more stop is all we needed. The situation called for sticking with what got you the lead. Make them make a mistake. They made A LOT OF THEM. A Turnover or forcing them to punt and completing the passes on 3rd down, or instead of waiting until third down, on 2nd and 8, let the defensive line come back and then dump it over the top of them to Pierson in the middle already beyond the linebackers, and he breaks one tackle and he's gone.

With the right play calls, KU wins this game by no less than 14 and then...

Chip on the shoulder.

If this coaching staff is still here next year, and I hope they aren't, and they don't win 7 or 8, bye bye Gill.

We won't play Texas A&M next year, or Missouri. We will play TCU and West Virginia next year, along with Iowa State, Baylor (No RG3), OU (No Jones), OSU (No Blackmon or Weeden), Texas Tech, Kansas State, Texas (who knows who'll be their QB next year), and the 3 non-conference foes.

San Diego State.
Rice (This will give us a measurement for playing Texas, because Texas plays them either the week before or the week after we do).
Northern Illinois

We will likely get TCU and West Virginia at home next year because A&M would be at home next year, and vs. Missouri 2012 would be a home game, and it won't be at Arrowhead.

It will be brutal.

Following that up:

Almost every remaining player(top 10 in each position) not committed yet has KU on the list. DE's, CB's, LBs, WR's, RBs, QBs, OLs, etc.

We need LBs with at least 4.6 speed, DE with about the same. Both need to be long so they can bat down some passes if they don't quite get to the QB. DLs. CBs. I think we're good at Safety given the way McDougald and Terry are coming on. BB will be here next year too, and I suspect he might win the starting the job.

We're loaded at Running Back. We've got good speed at WR. Patterson may get a medical redshirt and be back next year.

If we pick up 2 LBs, a couple of DE's and DLs, and a CB or too, I'll be comfortable with letting them come into this level. It's going to be hard to achieve given the performance this year. Gill's fault.

Jo Ann Ortgies Stork 10 years, 6 months ago

People in our section wanted to know if we set a record in the first 1/2 for plays that were reviewed? We believed that this was a deliberate attempt to get the refs questioning their own calls. Did anyone else feel this way? Notice the 2nd half was totally different--bad calls against KU. May not have changed the outcome--however, let's all play by the same rules---i.e. facemask? at end of 1st half and the pass interference that should have been called by the refs? Guess the refs didn't think that the score was right with KU ahead.

Kit Duncan 10 years, 6 months ago

Kansas benefited the most from the replays in the first half in two ways:

First, all but one call went KU's way.

Second, and more importantly, the break in continuity probably kept Griffin and company from getting into any rhythm in the first half.

There was no subterfuge on the part of the replay officials, they were obliged to review an unusual number of questionable plays in the first half.

I was certain that I saw Steven Johnson recover the fumble which was ruled out of bounds by an official (before he recovered it.) Thankfully the officials chose to review it because, as it turned out, Johnson did gain control of the ball before it went out of bounds.

Unfortunately, the one play that was not reviewable was the tipped pass which was recovered by a Baylor player late in the game. Since it was tipped while in the commission of pass interference, the interception should have been ruled inadmissible, but penalties (called or uncalled) are not reviewable.

Kit Duncan 10 years, 6 months ago

I would hope that the league would review the flagrant holding committed by the Baylor players on Toben Opurem. On one play, which could have resulted in a safety against Baylor, Toben clearly beat his man and was grabbed from behind as he bore down on Griffin in the endzone. Griffin was able to get the pass off, though Baylor was unable to continue that drive in the first half.

A safety would have certainly helped the Hawks and may have made a difference in the final outcome.

jhawkinmissouri 10 years, 6 months ago

For all of you on the replacement "bandwagon" - We won't get a "quality coach" or a "proven winner" to come to KU unless our administration proves they will give a coach time to recruit and develop the players to fit his program. If we fire Coach Gill after just 2 seasons, no one in their right mind would accept a football coaching job for the Jayhawks!

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