Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith wasn’t happy with the officials after losing to Clemson 29-23 late Saturday night.
There were a few questionable calls down the stretch, but none were bigger than an overturned fumble returned for a touchdown late in the game. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)
Upon review, it was determined the Clemson receiver never had possession of the ball and that it was an incomplete pass.
This was originally called a catch and fumble return TD, but was overturned as an incomplete pass. #CFBPlayoff pic.twitter.com/3RxiGYTvCv
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 29, 2019
Smith spoke with Pete Thamel and Joel Klatt about the officiating, and let it be known he was “pissed” about the decision.
Just got a text from Ohio State AD Gene Smith: “Terry McAulay is 100-percent correct!!! Unreal!!” He added: “Feel free to share how pissed I am.” https://t.co/mVcsabPYFf
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) December 29, 2019
If you watch any of the games that I call you know that I feel CFB replay is broken and the lack of consistency is troubling at best
Just spoke with @OhioStateFB Athletics Director Gene Smith and he is livid with what he feels like was clear overreach from replay tonight
— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) December 29, 2019
Generally speaking, college athletic directors stay in the shadows. You know Smith is truly upset when he talks to multiple members of the media about how upset he is.
At the end of the day, Ohio State didn’t lose this game because of the refs. They just didn’t. Did the refs do them any favors?
No, but Ohio State lost because they got outplayed late in the game, and they had no answer for Trevor Lawrence.
RAPID REACTION: Clemson beats Ohio State 29-23 after Justin Fields throws an interception in the red zone.
WHAT. A. GAME. pic.twitter.com/VyhOEigiuL
— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) December 29, 2019
We’ll see if the NCAA dishes out any punishment for Smith going after the officials. It seems like it was a heat of the moment situation.
Still, the NCAA doesn’t love their officials coming under attack, especially from one of the most powerful ADs in America.
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At the end of the day, the team with the best player on the field, Lawrence, won the game. The refs might have had an impact, but Ohio State pissed this one away. Blaming the refs is a bit weak when there were other mistakes all over the field.