In Thursday night's tilt between North Carolina State and Clemson, the Wolfpack looked to take a third quarter lead on a long reception by Bryan Underwood down the sideline. However, officials ruled that Underwood stepped out of bounds, and three plays later NC State fumbled. The game was never in doubt after that.
See? Not easy to tell, is it?
The call enraged Wolfpack fans who were convinced Underwood stayed in the field of play, and a statement by ACC officials released Friday night did little to quell the furor.
As the News & Observer reports, ACC coordinator of officials Doug Rhoads said on Friday that after review, the call was "not clear":
"Our office has viewed all available angles, each numerous times, in slow motion and freeze frame," Rhoads said in the statement. "It is not clear, in reviewing all angles, whether the runner stepped out of bounds or avoided any contact with the sideline.
"We recognize that within the number of images and angles viewed, some look like he did not step out of bounds while one looks like he did step out of bounds. In the end, this cannot be resolved beyond all doubt."
It's obviously little consolation to NC State fans, but this is how it's supposed to work. Even if the play was available for review (the play was blown dead on the field, which negates video review), the officials had 24 hours to look at this one and couldn't come to a definitive conclusion. Essentially, there's a call on the field without indisputable video evidence to overturn it. Yep, that call stands.
Bummer, really, because that's not going to make NC State fans feel any better, and there are few worse feelings than the sense that one's favorite team just got hosed by the officials.