Cal stopped Ole Miss twice on the goal line in the final seconds to somehow come away with a 28-20 win in Oxford, Mississippi, on Saturday.
Ole Miss got to the Cal 10 with just over a minute left when John Rhys Plumlee found Demarcus Gregory for a 41-yard gain. Things got crazy from there as Ole Miss was out of timeouts.
Ole Miss gave the ball to Scottie Phillips on first down and he managed a one-yard run. The clock kept rolling. Second down was a pass play, but Plumlee didn’t find anyone open as he rolled to his right before cutting upfield to the 2. The clock kept going.
Then, Plumlee appeared to find Elijah Moore for a TD to cut the lead to two. But Moore was, somehow, ruled short of the goal line.
The clock kept going. And Ole Miss had to scramble.
The Rebels rushed to the line for a fourth-down play and Plumlee tried to sneak into the end zone. But he got stopped by linebacker Evan Weaver, who made his 21st tackle of the day to save the game.
Moore’s catch should have been reviewed
Let’s go back to the third-down pass for a second. Officials should have taken the opportunity to see if Moore was in the end zone. Inexplicably, they did not.
Yes, a review would have given Ole Miss an opportunity to draw up a fourth-down play during the timeout if the ruling stood. But it would have also given the Rebels a chance to tie the game with a two-point conversion if the catch was a touchdown.
The ESPNU broadcast of the game didn’t show a definitive replay. But man, it sure looked close enough for officials to take a longer look, even if the official on the sideline had a good vantage point in real time. Remember, all the ball has to do is cross any part of the goal line while in Moore’s possession to be a TD.
It sure looks like it was really close, right? And shouldn’t a potential score that sends the game into overtime in the final seconds be reviewed to be sure that the ruling on the field is right?
Heck, Plumlee thought it was a touchdown. Though we don’t recommend celebrating before seeing that the officials have called it a TD.
Interim Ole Miss athletic director Keith Carter issued a statement after the game asking for an explanation from the Pac-12 officials in the replay crew why the play was not reviewed.
— Keith Carter (@KeithCarterOM) September 21, 2019
Cal’s win is the first time a Pac-12 team has won at an SEC school since 2010 when Oregon won at Tennessee.
Bears QB Chase Garbers was 23-of-35 passing for 357 yards and four touchdowns and an interception. Plumlee, who saw action in relief of Matt Corral, was 7-of-7 passing for 82 yards though neither QB threw a touchdown.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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