The officials called this play dead, so one ref tried to make a tackle

When refs call a play dead, they often do as much as they can to resume play straight away. You often see this on plays where a player accidentally steps out of bounds, but keeps going down the field anyways. At some point, it just the priority of the refs to get the ball and the player back to the line of scrimmage.

Well, that happened in Saturday's Cactus Bowl between West Virginia and Arizona State. Arizona State quarterback Manny Wilkins thought he had an open seam down the field, but the refs called the play dead. Wilkins kept going, however, until a he ran into a ref that looked prepared to make a tackle.

I am surprised that no one got hurt in this situation to be honest. While referees are generally more agile than they get credit for, the ref here was able to stay up despite going head-to-head with a football player. It wasn't quite a tackle, but the ref definitely got in a two-handed shove that wouldn't fly in your normal two-hand touch type of game.

West Virginia went on to win in an absolute thriller, 43-42 in a game that finished at nearly 3:00 a.m. EST.