Ole Miss AD Wants 'Full Explanation' from Refs After Controversial Loss to Cal

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 22, 2019

OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI - SEPTEMBER 21: Myles Hartsfield #15 of the Mississippi Rebels reacts after loosing a game against the California Golden Bears at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on September 21, 2019 in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Ole Miss interim athletic director Keith Carter wants answers after his Rebels suffered a controversial 28-20 loss to the California Golden Bears on Saturday.

Trailing by eight with 17 seconds remaining and facing a 3rd-and-goal from the 3-yard line, Rebels quarterback John Rhys Plumlee completed a pass to an open Elijah Moore at the goal line. Though he caught the ball with two feet in the end zone, the officiating crew ruled the ball did not break the plane and placed the ball at the 1-yard line.

Ole Miss did not have any timeouts remaining, meaning it had to hope the replay center triggered a review before time expired. The play was not reviewed, though, forcing the Rebels to run a hurried quarterback sneak—and the Bears defense came up with a game-saving stop.

Carter tweeted after the game that he is "extremely disappointed" and is seeking a "full explanation" as to why the third-down play was not reviewed:

A review would have worked in Ole Miss' favor regardless of the outcome. Overturning the call on the field to a touchdown would have given the Rebels an opportunity to tie the game with a two-point conversion. Even if the call on the field was upheld, they would have had an opportunity to run one final play in a more organized fashion.

The loss dropped the Rebels to 2-2 on the season.

In August, the Pac-12 announced it would be transparent by providing statements for, among other scenarios, "game-ending call or no-call impacting the result of the game." The new rules call for a statement to be "issued no later than the end of the day following the game in which the call occurred."

According to ESPN's Kyle Bonagura, a Pac-12 spokesperson said no statement on the controversial ending would be given on Saturday.

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