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#pounditFriday, March 31, 2023

Referees make total mess of bizarre Texas penalty call

Bryce Young penalty call

The officiating crew in Saturday’s game between the Texas Longhorns and Alabama Crimson Tide made a total mess of a key call in the end zone roughly midway through the third quarter.

The Longhorns appeared to get a safety by sacking Alabama’s Bryce Young in the end zone, a potential game-changing play that would have given Texas the lead and the ball. However, a late flag came in, and the penalty was announced as roughing the passer and targeting. That took the safety off the board and appeared to give Alabama a new set of downs, though like all targeting calls, the play was subject to further review.

It was quickly clear that both the roughing the passer and targeting calls were awful decisions. In fact, replays showed that Young was not even down when he was hit by Texas linebacker DeMarvion Overshown, who was flagged for the fouls.

After the review, referee Scott Campbell somehow corrected himself. Campbell announced that there was no targeting, and that the roughing the passer call was also wiped out as it was “described incorrectly to the referee.” However, there was no safety, as Young successfully got rid of the ball before he was down.

In short, the officials ultimately got the call correct, albeit in truly bizarre fashion. The roughing the passer call was apparently the same as the targeting call, which caused the confusion. Had there been two fouls on the play, the roughing call would not have been reviewable even if the targeting foul was withdrawn.

This is not the first time Campbell has gone viral for his officiating work. This one, however, is a moment he would probably like to forget.


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