Toe taps? Controversial catch by Austin Allen sets up tying TD for Nebraska
Officials often seem to love involving themselves materially in close football games. When the choice comes down to letting the teams on the field decide the outcome, or stepping in to throw a few flags and make a few controversial calls to tilt the balance one way or the other—officials frequently choose to join in on the fun. They’re only human, after all.
An officiating incident happened today near the end of the first half of a tight rivalry game between Nebraska and Iowa at Kinnick Stadium. The B1G crew working the game signaled a Nebraska pass completion for a first down in a very tight window along the sideline, then went to the booth to review it, and returned to confirm their own call on the field. The video evidence shown to the public appeared to indicate the opposite.
Austin Allen is a 6-foot-8 inch tight-end for the Cornhuskers. He used every inch of that frame to extend and catch a poorly thrown pass from Adrian Martinez along the sideline. The moment he caught the ball two Hawkeyes defenders shoved him hard out of bounds. The referees ruled Allen’s toe had tapped the green before going out of bounds, and the catch was made good.
See the photo below.
I don’t even care what they rule it.— Derek Peterson (@DrPeteyHV) November 27, 2020
Give Austin Allen an extra piece of pie after this. pic.twitter.com/RnWxnuPxMr
But on an official’s review it appeared clear to most objective observers watching, including FOX’s own broadcast crew, that the toe had not touched the turf before Allen was knocked out. However, the officials returned, confirmed their own call, and Nebraska went on to score a touchdown, tying the game up at 13-13 just before the half.
Both teams—and the officials—will return shortly to decide the final outcome of the game. Iowa has won five in a row in the series, a streak Nebraska (and the officials?) appears hungry to end.