Tennessee robbed of touchdown on controversial call at goal line
The Tennessee Volunteers were victims of an extremely controversial call during overtime of Thursday’s Music City Bowl against Purdue.
With the game tied at 45 in the first overtime period, Tennessee decided to go for it on 4th and goal from the Purdue 1-yard line. Running back Jaylen Wright was stood up shy of the goal line, but reached out to try to get the football into the end zone. He appeared to do so while on top of a Purdue defender.
However, the play was called dead on the field, with the line judge determining that Wright’s forward progress had been stopped short of the goal line.
TENNESSEE’S STUFFED IN 4TH & GOAL.
— CFB Kings (@CFBKings) December 31, 2021
Video taken from the sideline shows how questionable the decision was.
Forward progress. You be the judge pic.twitter.com/aQ9aeWEzBh
— Austin Stanley (@AustinStanley81) December 31, 2021
The play was reviewed, but the call was confirmed by replay. Forward progress is a judgement call, and once that call was made on the field, nothing after that point could be overturned.
In the Music City Bowl, the line judge ruled that the runner's forward progress was stopped. Therefore, anything after that ruling cannot be considered by replay.
The announcers are focusing on the whistle, which is irrelevant. The ruling stops the play, not the whistle.
— Fᴏᴏᴛʙᴀʟʟ Zᴇʙʀᴀs (@footballzebras) December 31, 2021
Tennessee will contend that Wright was still moving forward when the line judge ruled him down. Wright’s knee was not down at any point before he reached across the goal line, so it simply came down to the arbitrary judgement call. That will come as little solace to Tennessee fans, who were already quite outraged by another controversial ending earlier in the season.