Fox Sports called on its officiating expert Mike Pereira to analyze several controversial calls in its Texas-OSU telecast Saturday night, including Longhorn running back Joe Bergeron's 2-yard winning touchdown run with 29 seconds left.
After viewing the replay, Fox play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson and analyst Charles Davis said the ball appeared to pop out before the touchdown.
However, Pereira said because the officials had ruled it a touchdown, an OSU player would have needed to come out of the pile with the ball to show a recovery. “There was not a clear recovery before it got in the scrum,” Pereira said from Fox's Los Angeles studio.
Pereira also supported the replay officials decision to overrule the ruling of incompletion on OSU's final touchdown of the game, a 20-yard pass to John Goodlett in which the ball came loose after he crossed the goal line. “He actually got one, two feet down (after the catch),” Pereira said. “That's a good overturn.”
For their second consecutive Saturday night broadcast in Oklahoma, Johnson and Davis did a good job of capturing the excitement of the game. “What a dramatic finish,” Johnson said after OSU's lateral onslaught on the final play came up short.
The Fox announcers praised the play of both quarterbacks.
“He's showing maturity now, looks like a veteran,” Davis said of Texas sophomore quarterback David Ash, who completed 30 of 37 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns.
Besides his passing, OSU freshman quarterback J.W. Walsh earned compliments for his running. “You see the dimension he brings to the offense,” Davis said of Walsh, who rushed for 57 yards on eight carries.
After showing a shot of injured starting quarterback Wes Lunt on the sideline, Davis said, “I'm being somewhat facetious, Gus. If J.W. Walsh continues to play well, his knee will feel a lot better.”
David defended OSU coach Mike Gundy's decision to settle for Quinn Sharp's 24-yard field goal to take a 36-34 lead with 2:34 left. “Texas is not confident in their kicking game,” he said. “A two-point lead is big for Oklahoma State."
Noting the two sportscasters had called three Texas games last year, Johnson said this year's Longhorn offense is more impressive under second-year offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin.
“The difference I see with this Texas team is the precision on offense, everyone moving in sync,” he said.
Davis and Johnson will have the Longhorns again next Saturday night when they host West Virginia in the Fox prime time game.
* In the pregame, Johnson said he was expecting a shootout. The teams didn't disappoint the announcers early in scoring 35 points in the first quarter as Texas grabbed a 21-14 lead.
“We told you at the top of the broadcast we were expecting a good, old-fashioned shootout in Oklahoma,” Johnson said after OSU tied the game at 14 on. Walsh's 44 yard touchdown pass to Josh Stewart.
“Someone take our pulse,” Davis said, referring to the offensive explosion.
* Davis said the main storyline was whether OSU could continue its current Big 12 dominance and if Texas could finally beat a “good” team.
* When Sharp punted with his left foot to escape a Longhorn punt rush after a poor snap, Davis quipped, “Sharp thinking by Quinn Sharp. I didn't know he was ambidextrous.”
* Johnson had more mistakes than normal for his role as Fox's lead announcer, including saying OSU was going to go for it on fourth down late in the second quarter when Sharp missed on a 53-yard attempt and calling a wide Texas run “the most exciting 11-yard run will see today.” The run only was for 6 yards, which, to his credit, he corrected.