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Statement Released Regarding Officiating In Buffalo Loss

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After Ohio's 30-3 loss to Buffalo Tuesday night, Coordinator of Officials for the Collegiate Officiating Consortium Bill Carollo released a statement on Wednesday regarding two missed calls by the contests's officiating crew.

The first error occurred at the beginning of the second quarter and Ohio driving in Buffalo territory. Receiver Matt Waters went down at the end of a 3-yard catch and the ball popped out and was ruled a fumble. Video evidence showed that Waters' knee was down. After review they upheld the call.

"This play should have been ruled down and the fumble overturned with Ohio maintaining possession," Carollo said in the statement.

The drive allowed Buffalo to score the game's first points just over two minutes later. The 'Cats kicked a field goal before halftime to send it to the break with the Bulls leading 7-3.

Early in the second quarter with Ohio deep in its own territory, Tyler Tettleton dropped back under heavy pressure from Buffalo defenders. He scrambled, and eventually threw the ball away on the 4-yard line. The back judge called intentional grounding on the play, and ruled the play a safety, despite the fact the Tettleton was not in the end zone when he threw the ball away.The play, according to Rule 12, Sect. 3, Art. 1 of the NCAA officiating rulebook, was not reviewable.

"The proper call was intentional grounding, however, Ohio’s Tettleton threw the pass in the field of play and not from the end zone,” said Carollo. “This play should not have resulted in a safety. The next play should have been fourth down at the spot of the incomplete pass. This was an officiating error with regard to judgment and the officiating mechanics by the covering officials."

The statement acknowledged both calls were incorrect, but did not address whether any disciplinary action would be taken against the referees involved in Tuesday night's game. It also didn’t mention whether any action would be made to ensure these type of mistakes won't be made again.

Here's the complete statement made by Carollo:

In accordance with our procedures, I have reviewed last night’s football game between Ohio and Buffalo. After my analysis, there are two plays that I acknowledge were incorrect with how they were handled both on the field by our officials and in the replay booth.

The first play with 14:51 remaining in the second quarter, where a fumble by Ohio’s Matt Waters at the Buffalo 28-yard line was ruled a fumble on the field. This is a reviewable play and after review, the replay official ruled that the play should ‘stand’. The NCAA replay philosophy with regard to overturning plays on the field is that indisputable video evidence must be provided to overturn the ruling on the field. The replay official felt this high standard was not met. However, after careful review the runner’s right leg was down before the fumble. This play should have been ruled down and the fumble overturned with Ohio maintaining possession.

In addition, early in the third quarter Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton was pressured by Buffalo defenders and threw the ball out of bounds which was ruled intentional grounding from the end zone and resulted in a safety. By rule the location of the pass attempt is not a reviewable play, per RULE 12, Sect. 3, Art. 1. In review, the proper call was intentional grounding, however, Ohio’s Tettleton threw the pass in the field of play and not from the end zone. This play should not have resulted in a safety. The next play should have been fourth down at the spot of the incomplete pass. This was an officiating error with regard to judgment and the officiating mechanics by the covering officials.

As in all MAC games, every play within every game is thoroughly reviewed and graded on its accuracy and has impact on the final year end evaluation for every official. In my opinion, both of these plays were not handled properly by our officiating crew."