The Norman Transcript

September 18, 2006

The day after

Stoops talks officiating

John Shinn

NORMAN — Saturday, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops reserved judgment on a pair of controversial calls in OU’s 34-33 loss to Oregon.

But Sunday he showed his disgust with two calls that went against the Sooners, while replays showed they shouldn’t have.

“I’m incredibly disappointed in that the instant replay was brought up to eliminate issues like this,” Stoops said. “Here are a number of issues, looking at the video, that were wrong.”

The plays in question were an onside kick and pass interference call in the game’s final minute.

Stoops believes an Oregon player interfered with OU’s chance to recover an onside kick by touching the ball before it traveled 10 yards.

Replays showed Oregon’s Brian Paysinger had done just that, but replay officials elected not to overturn the play. The reviews also appeared to show Oregon didn’t even recover the ball. No player was given credit for the recovery. OU’s Allen Patrick emerged from the pile with it.

“I see my guy stepping up inside of 10 yards to go up and gain reception, gain possession of the football, I see their guy go in front of him and hit the football before my guy is allowed to at 10 yards and I see him collide with my guy inside of 10 yards as well,” Stoops said.

“That’s illegal touching and interfering with the reception. And then I see my guy get up with the football that’s laying on the ground.”

The play gave Oregon possession and set up the its game-winning drive.

Two plays later, OU safety Darien Williams was called for pass interference on a pass replays showed was tipped at the line of scrimmage by defensive end C.J. Ah You.

Replay officials also let that one go, and one play later, Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon found Paysinger for a 23-yard touchdown.

Despite the calls, Stoops doesn’t want to see replay taken out of college football.

“I would hope not,” he said. “Even though they acted as they did, at least the whole country and everybody sees what really happened.”

It was the second time in six games his team has lost due to controversial instant-replay rulings.

Last season against Texas Tech, three of the 12 plays on the Red Raiders’ game-winning drive were reviewed, including a fourth-down spot that would have ended the game in OU’s favor and a 2-yard touchdown run by Taurean Henderson that gave the Red Raiders the win.

The Big 12 upheld those rulings last season.

Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen said the league will review both the onside kick and the pass interference calls.

OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said he will seek a comprehensive review as well.

“The game officials were assigned by the Pac-10 Conference and we believe this situation will be properly handled and analyzed by the Pac-10 and then communicated back through our conference office,” he said. “There should be no mistaking our very serious concerns about the events that transpired and the energy we will exert in voicing those concerns.” 

But Stoops isn’t concerned with what the final report says. What’s done is done. The Sooners conclude non-conference play at 6 p.m. Saturday at Owen Field against Middle Tennessee. That’s were Stoops has turned his attention.

“That isn’t going to change anything,” he said. “In the end, I have to look at a bunch of kids who fought hard and have a loss right now.”

Penalty woes

Oklahoma committed eight penalties against Oregon and the infractions were a major contributor to its downfall. Three occurred in succession when OU had the ball first-and-goal at the Ducks’ 2-yard line. It had to settle for a field goal on the drive.

OU also had a touchdown called back on a procedure penalty.

“The penalties, more than anything, those were the issues,” Stoops said.

Through three games, the Sooners have been flagged 20 times for 147 yards.

Center could miss start

Sophomore center Jon Cooper missed the final minutes of the Oregon game due to ankle injury.

Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said Cooper might be held out of Saturday’s game against Middle Tennessee, so he would have more time to heal.

“I think he will have a chance to go this week,” Wilson said, “but with conference play coming up, we have to ask ourselves what’s the risk-reward.”

Poll watching

OU fell from No. 15 to No. 17 in the latest Associated Press Top 25. It was the third time in four weeks the Sooners have fallen in the poll.

Oregon rose from No. 18 to No. 13.