Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Washington vs Oregon: Huskies hurt by officials again

For the second straight week, the Washington Huskies had to play against a tough team and the guys in the striped shirts. For the second straight week there were several calls that were very, very questionable. Does the Pac-12 have something against the Huskies?

You hate to bring up conspiracy theories, but…

It started last week when the booth overruled the officials on the field despite a total lack of video evidence. That stopped the Huskies on what might have been a game-winning drive. The Stanford Cardinal escaped with a questionable win and their undefeated record intact.

Against the Oregon Ducks, the poor officiating started early. In the first quarter, the Ducks fumbled the ball through the end zone for a touchback. Overturned. Later, the Ducks did not actually get into the end zone, but the officials gave them the score anyway. Another bad call.

In the third quarter, Keith Price was pulled down from behind by an obvious horse-collar tackle. The back judge was right there, staring at the play. Did he pull the flag? No. The Huskies settled for a field goal. That missed call directly cost the Huskies four points.

Mike Pereira confirmed this assessment:


The final insult came in the fourth quarter when the announcers suggested that the officials and the booth had done an “excellent” job officiating the game.

What? Seriously? What game are you watching? Normally I really like Gus Johnson and Charles Davis, but there is no excuse for that kind of comment.

Ironically, moments later the officials called a penalty on the Huskies but could not remember the number of the offending Washington player. Exactly.

Several plays later the Huskies had a big offensive play nullified by a phantom holding call on Austin Seferian-Jenkins. The zebras strike again!

As fans, we are supposed to be objective. We are supposed to say things like, “The Huskies lost because they turned the ball over” or “The Huskies lost because the Ducks were just too strong on offense.” In other words, we aren’t supposed to believe in conspiracy theories. We aren’t supposed to give credence to the argument that the Pac-12 conference wants Oregon and Stanford to be undefeated when they meet on November 7.

And yet, it almost feels like the Pac-12 might have hinted to their officials that financial life would be better for everyone if certain calls went a particular way. The conference wouldn’t really do that, would they?

One thing is clear. This isn’t just about the fans in Washington having a slanted view. Kirk Herbstreit tweeted this:


In the end, would the Huskies have beaten the powerful Ducks if a few more calls had gone their way? Perhaps not. The world will never know. Washington was talented enough to beat Oregon, but unfortunately they faced more than just a powerful offense.

Maybe now that the Huskies are done with Stanford and Oregon, the Pac-12 will leave them alone.

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Tags: Keith Price Oregon Ducks Pac-12 Officiating Stanford Cardinal Washington Huskies

  • TH20

    Of course there were no bad calls that favored Washington? Funny how you don’t remember any of those. The superior team won, deal with it.

    • Todd Pheifer

      Thank you for your comments, TH20. We will have to agree to disagree on the Stanford game. The ball may very well have hit the ground, but the officials on the field called it a catch. There simply wasn’t enough video evidence to overturn the call. Therefore, the booth made a presumptive decision.

      • TH20

        I saw the reply and it obviously hit the ground, which is what the officials also saw, so evidently there was enough to overturn the call.

        • Todd Pheifer

          Again, we’ll just have to disagree. I also saw the replay. In addition, I saw the frame-by-frame version and I saw a zoomed-in enhancement of the frame that was most crucial.

          You can’t tell if his arm is under the ball. There is a frame where you can see the nose of the football sticking out, but you can’t tell if he is actually on the ground or still suspended in the air.

          Obviously a tough decision to make in the booth. However, when you look at the history of overturned calls, the standard for evidence is typically much stronger.

  • Duckman

    Cry a river. Far more penalties went Washington’s way then Oregon.

    10 more years!

  • rs4

    Horrible commentary. There are no victims in sports. Only strong and weak. You are weak.

    • Todd Pheifer

      Thank you, rs4. I will work to increase my strength.

  • Wookiebiker

    Excuses are like … well, you know the rest of the story. In the end, UW was dominated at the line of scrimmage and couldn’t do anything about it. Simple as that.

  • Chris

    Sour grapes, those overturned calls were actually legit if you bothered to look at the replay.

  • eldh

    It all starts with the Seattle “the beautiful city” comment and ends with the we were robbed. Please, the program has been in the dumps for many years and will continue with biased reporting rather than we are just good enough and need to improve!

    • Todd Pheifer

      Seattle is a beautiful city.

  • SoCalDuck

    Wow…really?? And yes, the government really has been spying on you and following you around town…lock your doors!!! Conspiracy theories aside, didn’t the officials take away Oregon’s 2nd interception on the second half? And call an odd personal foul on a lineman finishing his block near the sideline??
    But Oregon “fumbled ball through the end zone for a touchback” has to take first place in this ridiculous piece of “writing”. This had to be one of the easiest replays in the history of replay, since the player was down—flat on his back actually–when the ground forced the “fumble”. And I guess the Pac-12 needs to re-work their conspiracy theory if they want Oregon and Stanford to meet undefeated on November 7. If you haven’t heard you might want to check into how the Utah-Stanford game went last night…sound like “financial like” isn’t going to be too good for those Pac-12 officials who screwed up the plan.
    Noting in your bio that you “write” for a “variety of publications” sounds like you’re either unemployed–or if not–suffice to say don’t quit you day job as the “writing” doesn’t seem to be working out very well for you. Go Ducks!!!

    • Todd Pheifer

      Thank you for your comments, SoCalDuck. This article was posted prior to the end of the Utah-Stanford game.

      Also, thank you for the career advice. I appreciate it.

      • tom young

        Once again you do not comment on the examples that are brought up. You are just a hack looking for attention.

        • Todd Pheifer

          Well, let me make an observation, tom. SoCalDuck suggested that I am unemployed and that I should probably quit writing even though it is something that I love to do. You called me a “hack looking for attention.”

          These statements are not fair or accurate.

          Despite the disagreements, I thoroughly enjoying dialoging with fans. Everyone is entitled to their perspective and we all see things from our own point of view. We can still be civil in our discourse.

          When comments get personal, I find that it is sometimes best to thank people for their input and walk away.

  • Geo_Eng

    “In the first quarter, the Ducks fumbled the ball through the end zone for a touchback”

    Josh Huff’s knee and elbow were both on the ground 2-3 frames before the ball came loose. There was no fumble on this play and the refs made the right call.

    “Later, the Ducks did not actually get into the end zone, but the officials gave them the score anyway. Another bad call.”

    Byron Marshall was never down because was lying on top of other players and video evidence shows that he crossed the goal line on a second effort. I like how you ignore Mariota’s run on the previous play that was initially ruled a touchdown but overturned because video evidence showed that he was down at the 1-foot line. If the refs really favored Oregon, wouldn’t they have given Oregon the touchdown on Mariota’s run?

    “In the third quarter, Keith Price was pulled down from behind by an obvious horse-collar tackle.”

    This is the only accusation that you got right, and there should have been a penalty thrown for this.

    “That missed call directly cost the Huskies four points.”

    Do you really know that the Huskies would have scored a touchdown if the horse-collar penalty would have been called? This penalty would have given the Huskies yards and a fresh set of downs, not a free touchdown.

    What about Avery Patterson’s third quarter interception that was overturned when video evidence showed that the ball hit the ground? If the refs were really biased against Washington, wouldn’t they have given this interception to Oregon?

    “The final insult came in the fourth quarter when the announcers suggested that the officials and the booth had done an “excellent” job officiating the game.”

    That’s not all that the announcers said during this discussion. They qualified how good the game officiating was by including a brief discussion on some bad calls.

    Your (1) ignoring the obvious from video replays, (2) ignoring reviewed plays that were overturned in Washington’s favor and (3) quoting out of context makes this one of the most despicable pieces of writing that I have ever seen. “Writer” is a name that you obviously haven’t earned yet.

    Stanford lost to Utah last night. What does that say about your Stanford-Oregon conspiracy theory?

    • Todd Pheifer

      Thank you for your feedback, Geo_Eng. I am sorry that you did not like the article.

  • Devin Nickle

    What a freakin’ whiner! There were pass interference non-calls the other way too. One was for a first and goal at minimum! AND, the correct call WAS made at the one foot line.. He was CLEARLY down, and the officials got it right. Maybe you should clean your glasses? I think what this boils down to, is just another Huskies poor loser making excuses for his slower and less talented team. Woof!

    • Todd Pheifer

      Thank you, Devin.

      • Duckitect Duckitect

        I totally agree with you Todd, You are so right about each play you mentioned. The Huskies were the better team and were completely robbed of the victory by a biased official team. It is such a shame that the superior athletes and coaching staff of University of Washington has been victimized by these lower class barbarians!

  • tom young

    Why not respond to TH20 comments about the Oregon game? He said no bad calls favored Washington, but you do not respond to that. Oregon had 8 penalties to Washington’s 1 at one time and you say they got screwed. How about the pass interference no call against Washington, he grabbed the receiver’s arm well before the ball got there, even the announcers admitted it was a bad call. But you are not interested in the truth you are just a “Husky Homer” and use the term “We have to agree to disagree” when you cannot support your view. There was a time when husky fans did not play the victim but I guess that is how far they have fallen. Have another good 7-6 season.

    • Todd Pheifer

      I am not ignoring TH20′s comments. I simply picked one of his points and responding to it. Did I state that every call went Oregon’s way? No. Did I suggest that Washington played a perfect game? No. Did I acknowledge that Oregon may have won the game anyway, even if the noted calls had gone Washington’s way? Yes.

      Oregon is an extremely talented team and they may very well win the national championship. If the Ducks end up in the title game, particularly against an SEC team, I will certainly be rooting for them.

      Now, am I a “homer?” If it makes you feel better to give me that label, that is certainly your prerogative. I support certain teams, but to suggest that I am blind to their flaws is an inaccurate statement.

      As for Washington’s record, I think 8-4 is a more accurate projection for the regular season.

      Thank you for the dialogue, Tom.

      • tom young

        What would you call someone who only sees one side of a game and feels their team always gets “jobbed”? That is a homer. Washington got more calls then Oregon did, the only obvious bad call against Washington was the horse collar that was missed. Why not comment on the pass interference call that was missed? That cost Oregon a TD. Believing that Washington had enough talent to win is not correct, have they closed the gap, yes. But they have not caught up. Maybe your “purple colored glasses” did not let you see who did not play for Oregon. With Thomas is could have been a 28 point victory if not more. I will not even count Lyerla because he no longer is on the team but he is a better athlete then anyone on the husky roster (not mentally better). You probably cannot see that but again you probably believe that Price is a better player then Mariota. And their record being 8-4, that means they will have to upset a team, they will be underdogs against ASU, UCLA & OSU and WSU is always tough for the huskies. They could go 6-7 and it would not be a shock. Just because they have improved does not mean they are good enough to compete with the top tier teams. Better luck next year.

        • Todd Pheifer


  • tom young

    Cant wait to read your excuse for the ASU game! Refs screwed you over, AGAIN? A couple lucky breaks go their way? I know the game is not over and the mighty fuskies could make a come back, na no heart left after getting jobbed against Oregon or Stanford.

    • Paul Novak

      That’s quite enough there, Tom. Your insults and disrespect won’t be tolerated any longer.

      If you want to come here and have an educated discussion on college football then be our guest. If you want to bash opponents of the Ducks and the people who’s comments you don’t agree with then I suggest you check out the Oregon site.