Pereira's take: Pair of confusing plays have crucial impact on 'Civil War'
NOV 29, 2013 9:49p ET
Sometimes ugly can turn beautiful.
An ugly-looking second quarter turned into a 17-17 "Civil War" at the half between Oregon and Oregon State and changed what could have a blowout into a nail-biter.
Speaking of ugly, I couldn't decide which team's uniform I disliked more, the Halloween-like all orange worn by Oregon State or the fluorescent green and yellow ones worn by the Ducks.
But I digress.
Let's get to a couple of plays that had a significant impact on the game after Oregon had taken a 14-0 lead into the second quarter.
-- Play 1: A very confusing play with just over two minutes left in the half. Here was the situation: Oregon State had the ball, second down and 10 at the Oregon 32-yard line. Oregon led 17-10.
Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion completed a 31-yard pass to Brandin Cooks near the goal line and it appeared Cooks made the catch and was tackled out of bounds by Terrance Mitchell and Avery Patterson. But the ball came loose and rolled into the end zone. The ball came close to hitting Patterson's right foot before it rolled into the end zone. It did end up hitting Patterson's left foot, but since he was already on the ground out of bounds and the ball was in the end zone, by rule, makes it a touchback. Oregon got the ball back on its own 20-yard line.
There were quite a few things to rule on this play, and on a day that replay seemed to have some issues, this was a very good job done by replay official Jim Northcutt.
-- Play 2: For this one, I want to explain how a missed field goal by Oregon State ended up becoming a touchdown for the Beavers, who were the beneficiary of a running into the kicker penalty on Oregon.
Here was the situation: OSU had the ball, fourth down and 6 at the Oregon 19-yard line with 11:21 left in the second quarter. Oregon led 14-0. Trevor Romaine's 36-yard field-goal attempt went wide left, but Oregon's Dior Mathis was called for running into the kicker. It looked like Mathis was blocked into Romaine by OSU's Dustin Stanton. But the penalty was enforced, setting up a fourth-and-2, and Oregon State decided to go for it. The Beavers were successful and three plays later scored a touchdown.
Sometimes the simplest of plays have the most difficult decisions.
The most important decision the referee had to make was whether the contact was caused as a result of a push that redirected Mathis into Romaine. As Mathis came around the edge, he was engaged and pushed by Stanton, which did look to change his direction. Mathis was airborne after the push and there was no way he could have avoided the contact.
In my mind, I wished the line of scrimmage official would have gone to the referee and said the push is what caused Mathis to contact Romaine. The rule book says it is not a foul if the person who contacts the kicker is pushed legally or illegally into the kicker. In this case, it would have been best if it was not called running into the kicker.
While the uniforms and some confusing plays might have made the first half a little ugly, the bottom line was that it gave in to potentially a beautiful second half.