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Football: Weis wants ‘explanation’ from officials

Matt Gamber | Monday, September 14, 2009

The fact that Irish coach Charlie Weis fielded nine different questions at his Sunday press conference on the subject of officiating is a pretty good indication that the zebras weren’t at their best Saturday in Ann Arbor.

“I have to be careful when I say this. I have Big 10 officials coming in this week again,” Weis said. “But that game left a lot to be desired.”

Weis said he didn’t blame the officiating for the outcome of the game, but he did discuss several specific plays, the tape of which he sent to the Big 10 conference for review.

“I’d say I’d like an explanation on these handful of plays. Just that handful is a little bit longer handful than it would normally be,” Weis said. “It never changes the outcome of a game. All you do is want an explanation, that’s all.”

One of the biggest calls was the review of a would-be touchdown on a screen pass to Armando Allen. The replay official overturned the call on the field, ruling that Allen stepped out of bounds.

“I watched that tape a hundred times this morning, okay?” Weis said. “From what I understand, the TV copy on top of it, I still haven’t heard anyone tell me there’s any evidence of Armando stepping out of bounds. The way I thought the rule is supposed to be, it’s supposed to be conclusive evidence. I’m perturbed at that call.”

There were also three holding calls against the Irish, including one on Sam Young that negated a 76-yard gain on a Kyle Rudolph catch and run. Weis said he could see evidence of holding on all three calls and he wasn’t going to complain, but he did elaborate on the call on Young.

“What happened on the play, the defensive end – we chip defensive ends,” Weis said. “So when he knocked him inside of Sam, Sam now has him. He goes to throw him to the ground. If he just pushes him to the ground they probably don’t call it. Hands in the air, throws him to the ground, that’s what they called.

“You’re looking at that, heat of the moment, you’re not watching everything happen, you’re just seeing the guy getting throw to the ground at the end of the pay. I can understand if the guy watching it wasn’t watching the whole thing, you end up calling it.”

There was also some question regarding the clock operation at the end of the game. There were originally 11 seconds on the clock when Notre Dame’s offense took over after a touchback. The time was eventually cut to nine seconds after the officials first changed the clock to leave 10 seconds, as there was some question as to whether Theo Riddick touched the ball on the kickoff.

Those two seconds proved valuable when Golden Tate was tackled near midfield as time expired and the Irish were unable to take one final shot at the end zone.

“Maybe we’d have one more second, throw a Hail Mary,” Weis said.