Worst Call in College Football Since the 5-Down Game | Joe Hoft

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Worst Call in College Football Since the 5-Down Game

Iowa Cooper DeJean

Yesterday’s call in the Iowa football game has fans referencing the 5-down game.  

Sometimes the refs don’t get it right.  Other times their actions are way off and they change who wins that game.

Yesterday’s Big Ten matchup between Iowa and Minnesota will go down in history.  Iowa, with one loss to date, has the worst offense in the country.  But it’s defense and special teams are spectacular and the reason for the team’s six wins making them the leader in the West Division of the Big Ten.

Yesterday was no exception.

With only two minutes left in the game Minnesota punted to Iowa.  Minnesota was deep in its own territory and was leading the game 12-10.  That’s when things got crazy.

Iowa’s punt returner, Cooper DeJean was there to receive.  He’s already returned one punt back for a TD earlier this year.

The ball bounced and DeJean motioned to his teammates to stay away from the ball.  DeJean retrieved it and scampered along the sideline, across the field, and into the end zone in front of a frantic home crowd putting Iowa ahead.

That’s when the refs took over.

After a long break the refs called the play back and said that DeJean signaled a fair catch and gave the game to Minnesota.

After the game Iowa coach Ferentz shared:

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said the ruling was “tough,” and noted that fair-catch procedures are reviewed with officials before every game.

“It was interesting, the final analysis of that play,” Ferentz said. “The most peculiar part to me was, at least the initial replay, was to find if he’s in or out of bounds, which clearly he didn’t. … Somehow we went from there to a whole different series of topics, and it’s really hard to accept the explanation that we got.

“Maybe I slept through the meeting when they covered there, but I’m still not sure who makes the final decision.”

This call reminds some football fans of the 5-down game in 1990 between Missouri and Colorado.

On their way to a share of the national championship, the visiting Buffaloes benefited from an infamous officiating mistake and beat the Tigers 33-31 at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Missouri, on Oct. 6, 1990. Colorado, ranked No. 12 in the nation at the time, was awarded five downs on the game’s final series and scored the winning touchdown as time expired.

The Buffs actually dropped two spots in the AP poll after the win but won their next seven games to finish 11-1-1. The Tigers were coming off an impressive victory over a ranked Arizona State team and might have been able to use a win over Colorado as a springboard. Instead, their season unraveled on the way to a 4-7 record.

Neither Iowa or Minnesota is going to win the national championship this year, but this call was horrible. 

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