Leavitt: Replay 'a big part of the game'
More stuff I wrote on the plane. Lots of links and more later ...
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Jim Leavitt acknowledged his team’s struggles after a 30-27 loss Thursday night to Rutgers, noting the Bulls’ inability to stop running back Ray Rice, their giving up seven sacks, their problems with the kicking game.
But he also put considerable time in his postgame comments to the replay reversal that took away a Bulls touchdown, when officials ruled that linebacker Tyrone McKenzie had made an illegal forward pass when he fumbled the ball after a blocked field goal. Instead of a 24-10 lead, Leavitt had a new reason to question the replay system.
“I’ve been watching that all over, and I don’t know if I really like that stuff or not,” Leavitt said. “It wasn’t (the crew on the field) that made the call. It was somebody else turning that over. I’m going to trust them. I know the officials are going to want to do what’s best for the game of football. They’re going to do their best job. Let’s just hope they made the right call.”
Instead of being down 14 late in the first half,
Rutgers followed a missed USF field goal with a kick of their own to trail just 17-13 at halftime, starting a run of 17 straight points for the Knights.
“It was a big part of the game,” said Leavitt, who was extremely animated on the sideline in disputing several calls. “For them to reverse what was done on the field, it means it was totally … I don’t know. I was a huge call, no doubt about it. … You’ve got the whole rest of the game, so you can’t throw it all on that. … It didn’t have anything to do with the second half. We were up, but we could have been up a little more."
USF, penalized 10 times for 99 yards, had one more questionable call against them in the final minutes, when quarterback Matt Grothe looked to have converted a fourth-and-22 with a 32-yard pass to receiver Amarri Jackson, putting the Bulls in position for a game-tying field goal.
Jackson was flagged for offensive pass interence, however, setting up a Hail Mary pass on fourth-and -37 that was intercepted by Rutgers.