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Officiating is bound to be a hot topic on 'Game Day' this week

by Mel Bracht Modified: September 12, 2008 at 9:10 am •  Published: September 12, 2008
ESPN analyst Todd Blackledge doesn't expect Oklahoma's 34-33 loss at Oregon in 2006 — in which several questionable calls contributed to the outcome — to be much of a factor when the Sooners return to the Pacific Northwest to play at Washington on Saturday night.

"They are too far removed from that,” said Blackledge, who will call the game with Mike Patrick and sideline reporter Holly Rowe. "I think the memory of what happened last year in the Fiesta Bowl (a 48-28 loss to West Virginia) is lingering more than what happened when they last played in the Pacific Northwest.”

However, ESPN "College GameDay” analyst Kirk Herbstreit said OU coach Bob Stoops should use the OU-Oregon game as a motivating factor and show the game tape to his team tonight at the team hotel.

Herbstreit said, "I'd show them that tape and say, ‘We're not going to let this game be close enough to let the officials have an effect on this game. Let's go take this team seriously, and let's go take care of business.'”

Officiating will be a hot topic on "GameDay” and the game telecast, coming a week after an excessive celebration penalty on Washington quarterback Jake Locker contributed to the Huskies' 28-27 loss to BYU.

Like many commentators, Blackledge said the Pac 10 officials went too far in calling the penalty on the celebration.

"To me, it's a situation where you exercise the spirit of the law, rather than the letter of the law,” he said.

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by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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Todd Blackledge

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