Oklahoma State football: OU punt return — illegal block?

Side judge Genko Semko threw a flag on the play for an apparent illegal block, but the flag was waved off, allowing the touchdown — and a major momentum shift.
by John Helsley Published: November 26, 2012

With the Cowboys leading 38-30 in the early moments of the fourth quarter, OU's Jalen Saunders broke off an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown.

Side judge Genko Semko threw a flag on the play for an apparent illegal block, but the flag was waved off, allowing the touchdown — and a major momentum shift.

The explanation?

“They just said they changed their mind,” Gundy said. “There are times when there's debate over a call. But something has to fire in your brain to make your hand grab (the flag), pull it out of your pants and throw it way out there. A lot has to transpire for that to happen, to all of a sudden say, ‘I was wrong.'”

Making matters worse for Gundy, video reviews seem to show OU's Jayden Bird shove Cowboys cover man Teddy Johnson in the back at the Sooner 24, sending him to the ground.

If the penalty would have held, the Sooners would have had the ball at the 12-yard line.

“Here's what it was, it got the crowd in the game for the first time,” Gundy said of the return. “If they mark the penalty off, they're going to start at the 12 or 13 or somewhere like that. And the crowd goes (flat).

“Instead, it lit a fire under them. That was as big as anything.”

by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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