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Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon cover the Pac-12 for The Salt Lake Tribune.

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Refs may have aided Oregon State’s win with onside kick call

Oregon State dominated the first 58 minutes of its 10-7 win over No. 13 Wisconsin on Saturday at Reser Stadium. Its defense was relentless. OSU forced two turnovers, sacked Danny O’Brien three times and forced the Maryland transfer quarterback into a dreadful 20-of-38 passing day that yielded a mere 172 yards.

Still, the Badgers had a chance to win. After scoring a touchdown with 1:31 left in the game, the Badgers lined up an onside kick. The ball dribbled forward and was recovered by kicker Kyle French. By rule, the ball must travel 10 yards before the kicking team can recover it. Initially, Wisconsin was awarded the ball but a booth review led to a reversal and Oregon State was able to run out the clock for a win in what coach Mike Riley called the biggest non-conference game ever played in Corvallis.

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On TV, Fox Sports officials analyst Mike Pereira advocated for a reversal of the call, after multiple angles showed French grabbing the ball shy of the 45-yard-line. Cool. Happy day for the Beavers. Game over.

But not so fast. The reversal seemed questionable at the time. It appeared to be moving backwards when French got to it, meaning its path was reversed (presumably by an Oregon State player). That’s the case Pereira made in a mea culpa on FoxSports.com posted early Sunday morning.

The kicked ball was going forward the entire time and when it reached the 45-yard line, it suddenly went backward. After looking at it several times, it appears that Oregon State receiver Tyrequek Zimmerman may have touched the ball first. Watching again, I could see his fingers going backward before French recovered the ball at the 44.

The other thing I want to emphasize is this: Indisputable visual evidence. I talk about it all it time and how that is what’s required to overturn a call on the field. After watching the replays, I really don’t think there was indisputable evidence to overturn the call made on the field. From every angle available, there is a short period of time where the ball disappears.

Wrote ESPN Wisconsin writer Tom Lea of the play: "Unless we’re dealing with the football equivalent of the magic bullet theory, that probably means an Oregon State player hit it. It should have been Wisconsin ball with approximately a minute and a half to play."

The Badgers would have needed to go about 25 yards to get in field goal range, perfectly plausible despite the fact Wisconsin had traveled a total of 207 yards and was 2-of-14 on third downs.

One can only imagine the scene in Corvallis if the Beavers had let that win get away. Thanks to an unbelievable day of defense, however, and maybe some help from the officiating crew, Beaver Nation got to celebrate.

— Bill Oram

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
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» Wildcats earn academic honors
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Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» ASU No. 18 in preseason Amway Coaches Poll
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» Florida State picked No. 1 in preseason poll

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Local sports digest: Stanford 11th in preseason football poll
» Cal football's four most pressing issues
» Wilner: 49ers, Levi's Stadium pursue college football's potential
» Levi's Stadium: Three college football games this year

Colorado (Denver Post)
» CU Buffs have realistic expectations ahead of 2014-15 football season
» Former CU Buff Chris Copeland enjoys NBA after years of overseas play
» Pac-12 living up to tradition as tops in quarterbacks
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Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Former Oregon Duck Tommy Thorpe can't quite leave Oregon as his professional career begins
» Oregon Ducks scratch-and-sniff tickets, Will Barton gets contract guarantee: Oregonian Sports Top 5 at 5
» Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers athletes bond with cancer survivors on special fishing trip
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Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» Oregon State hires longtime trainer hired Fred Tedeschi
» Beavers hire Mark Massari as deputy athletics director
» Oregon State hands out Bennys to top athletes, coaches and teams
» OSU fishing: MacDonald, Martinez win conference tournament

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Stanford needs to find replacement for RB Tyler Gaffney
» Wilner: 49ers, Levi's Stadium pursue college football's potential
» Levi's Stadium: Three college football games this year
» Stanford receiver Ty Montgomery says he's close to being ready

UCLA (Los Angeles Daily News)
» UCLA Football Notebook: Running back Malcolm Jones loses appeal for extra season
» College Football: Position coach Adrian Klemm says UCLA offensive line a work in progress
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Improving UCLA has questions to answer during preseason football camp
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UCLA's prized recruit Eddie Vanderdoes cleared to play by NCAA after leaving Notre Dame

USC (Los Angeles Daily News)
» USC Football Notebook: Marqise Lee's injury not too serious
» USC Football Notebook: QBs Max Wittek, Cody Kessler present dilemma for Trojans coach Lane Kiffin
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel thinks Trojans might not miss QB Matt Barkley
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Dion Bailey says it's 'now or never'

Washington (Seattle Times)
» Huskies ranked No. 25 in preseason coaches poll
» Huskies fall camp position preview: Linebackers
» Morning links: More love for Huskies' Shaq Thompson
» Morning links: Pauley Pavilion flooded

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Drew Loftus arrested for assault
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» No. 1 Eastern opens fall camp
» Mike Leach talks about the Cougars before camp



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