So it’s over. UCLA beat BYU today 27-17. The loss can be pinned on turnovers and penalties but the officiating seemed to play into both of those things as well.
BYU’s first turnover was the least controversial of the three. Max Hall tried to force a pass to Austin Collie and got picked off. The UCLA corner returned the interception for a touchdown. Ouch. The second turnover, a fumble, was highly questionable because it looked clear to me that the BYU tight end had a knee on the ground well before the ball came loose. In fact it looked to me like it was his knee hitting the ground that jarred the ball loose. The third turnover was equally suspicious with Max Hall losing the ball as he was being sacked. His arm was cocked back and moving forward just as the defender grabbed at the ball from behind him. The ball flew 5+ yards forward but the officials ruled it a fumble. Of course in both cases the reviews came down in favor of the Pac 10 team. (The Pac 10 is becoming well known for shoddy officiating (home cookin’?) and I can see why.)
At least the officials were retarded in ways that helped BYU on occasion too. The one interception BYU got resulted from a pretty obvious pass interference call they missed.
But BYU fans the world over are bummed tonight. BYU had this game. After a very rough first half the Cougs dominated the second half. The last turnover ended up being a killer. The Cougs had scored 14 unanswered points in the second half and were down just 17-20. The questionable fumble came as BYU was driving down for the go-ahead score. The Cougars were already at the UCLA 20 yard line with about 8 minutes left in the game. With the way the defense was playing a touchdown easily could have sealed the deal for BYU.
Unfortunately it was not to be. UCLA held on to win by punching in a late touchdown to end all doubts. I’m sorry to say that I’m batting 1.000 on my season predictions still. Nice effort by the Cougs but the 100ish yard of penalties, turnovers, and Pac 10 officials all proved too much to overcome.
Tulsa is next week. Go Cougs.