A Mid-American Conference official blew a call during Tuesday night's Buffalo-Ohio University game, the conference acknowledged Wednesday.
Referee Tom McCabe called intentional grounding on Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton during the third quarter of Buffalo's 30-3 victory. The result was a safety that gave the Bulls a 9-3 lead.
McCabe thought Tettleton was in the end zone when he made the throw, but he was actually at the 4-yard line and the referee was just 2 yards away from the quarterback. After Tettleton released the ball, his momentum made him fall back into the end zone.
"In review, the proper call was intentional grounding, however, Ohio's Tettleton threw the pass in the field of play and not from the end zone," Mid-American Conference coordinator of officials Bill Carollo said in a statement. "This play should not have resulted in a safety. The next play should have been fourth down at the spot of the incomplete pass. This was an officiating error with regard to judgment and the officiating mechanics by the covering officials."
McCabe said he was looking downfield instead of at the quarterback. The call was not reviewable.
"It's a call that points are scored on," Ohio coach Frank Solich said. "I believe all calls where points are scored to be reviewed, certainly if there's a question."
Buffalo coach Jeff Quinn said, "I thought it was kind of a gift. Yeah, that probably helped us a little more."