Les Miles suggests Texas benefited from friendly game clock at home in last-second win

Jack BaerWriter
How much extra time did Texas get for its final drive? (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
How much extra time did Texas get for its final drive? (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

No. 15 Texas avoided a humiliating defeat on Saturday with a last-second field goal to escape from a home loss at the hands of Kansas, winning 50-48.

Kansas head coach Les Miles, however, has a bone to pick with how the game’s fateful final minute played out on the clock in front of a Longhorns home crowd.

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Miles confirmed to reporters Monday that the Jayhawks had asked the Big 12 Conference to look at two separate instances in Texas’ game-winning drive on Saturday in which the game clock did not appear to start when it was supposed to, giving the Longhorns some crucial extra seconds to work with, according to the Kansas City Star.

“We’ll turn it in,” Miles reportedly said. “We’ll see what they say.”

Did Texas get some home cooking vs. Kansas?

The final drive occurred after Kansas took a 48-47 lead thanks to a 22-yard Carter Stanley touchdown pass and a gutsy decision to go for a successful two-point conversion. Texas got the ball back with 1:11 left on the clock and two timeouts remaining.

The officials’ first unusual handling of the game clock occurred when Texas completed a pass for a first down with 54 seconds left. By the Star’s count, it took the officials 11 seconds to spot the ball and signal for the clock to restart despite procuring the ball almost immediately.

The second, much more questionable clock operation came with 32 seconds left on the clock. Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger scrambled for a key first down and remained in bounds. At that point, the clock was supposed to stop and restart when the chains were reset and the official gave the signal.

Instead, the clock started up again only when Ehlinger called for the snap on the next play, giving the Longhorns more than 10 free seconds. Texas would eventually kick the game-winning 33-yard field goal with five seconds left on the clock on the game’s final play, though the team was within field-goal range earlier than that.

Miles’ analysis, from the Star:

“There’s been other conferences I’ve been involved in. It seems like the hometown clock guy can sometimes quickly move the clock along sometimes inappropriately or sometimes hold the clock and not get it started when the play has started,” Miles said. “So I think they’ll have a look at that. We’ll see what they say.”

Whether anything comes from Miles’ complaints remains to be seen.

Like all questionably called games, Kansas obviously didn’t lose only because of the officials. The team’s play also played a part. Yet, it still adds an interesting footnote on a truly surreal night in Austin.

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