For those college football fans truly interested in Big Sky Conference play, you probably already knew Idaho State and Northern Arizona completely lit up the scoreboard this past weekend. But for the rest of the general gridiron fanatics, especially those who love offensive showdowns and making fun of and yelling at officials, this game certainly did not lack drama.
At the end of the shootout at Holt Arena in Pocatello, Idaho, the Idaho State Bengals took down the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks, 56-42. The only problem is the Big Sky now admits ISU probably could have won by even more during the school’s homecoming game.
Following a reversed targeting penalty, the officials gave NAU an extra down, which resulted in a touchdown later in the drive. Now the entire eight-man officiating crew has been suspended for their next assignment on October 6 because of the error.
Look, mistakes happen. Sometimes counting is hard, too, even if it is just four. But to suspend an entire crew for a simple error that didn’t even change the outcome of the game? That’s some tough love right there by the league.
“After a thorough review and evaluation of the Idaho State-Northern Arizona game, we have decided to suspend the officiating crew for one game,” Big Sky Conference Interim Commissioner Ron Loghry said in the statement.
So, what exactly happened? Here is the full explanation:
“The crew failed to verify the correct sequence of downs following a targeting penalty enforcement that was reversed by replay. This resulted in Northern Arizona replaying a second down when it should have been third down. Subsequently, Northern Arizona reached a first down on 3rd and 11 when it should have faced 4th and 11. The end result of the drive was an NAU touchdown.”
This mistake might of resulted in a lot of things, but definitely didn’t help Northern Arizona win. And no matter which official truly dropped the ball on this one, especially after the targeting penalty got reversed, everyone got punished.
The Big Sky means business and likely has a few available slots for officials this weekend, too.