Oh, we’ve got some refereeing controversy. With 4:08 left in the first quarter, No. 14 Oklahoma was down 14-0 to No. 3 Ohio State, until Sooners RB Joe Mixon returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. The extra kick was good and Ohio State took over at their own 20. However, several plays later, the Fox broadcast team noticed that on the kickoff return, Mixon dropped the ball before making it into the end zone, which should have been called a touchback instead of a touchdown.
Since Ohio State already got the ball back and resumed play, the missed call was unable to be reviewed.
Fox Sports’ officiating rules expert Mike Pereira explained what he saw on the play.
“Well they should have reviewed it because he definitely let the ball go before he broke the plane. The official ruled touchdown. But, the ball rolled into the end zone, stayed in the end zone, rolled dead there, and nobody attempted to pick it up, no defender tried to recover it. So therefore by rule, it would have almost been like an inadvertent whistle — the ball would have gone back to the stop of the fumble which was the one, and it would have been first and goal from the one. Now, had the ball rolled out of the end zone or if a defender had fallen on the ball, then it would have been a touchback. But since no one recovered it, and it didn’t go out of bounds it goes back to the one.”
He also addressed how the officials could have missed a call like that.
“On the live shot, you didn’t see that on TV but then you could also see in the covering official which happens on a 97 yard kickoff return, he’s behind the runner, he’s behind Mixon by the time he gets to the goal line so he doesn’t have that down the line look.”
It seems college players pulling DeSean Jacksons are happening a lot lately — last week, Clemson WR Ray-Ray McCloud did the same thing, only this time it was called correctly as a touchback.
In case you forgot, DeSean Jackson was infamous for celebrating too early and dropping balls before he reached the end zone, such as this moment.