Texas and Oklahoma ended up playing a fourth quarter that was 39 seconds longer than it should have been.
The Big 12 admitted Monday that officials incorrectly added 39 seconds back onto the clock in Oklahoma’s four-overtime win after reviewing the spot of a Sam Ehlinger run. Ehlinger had initially been granted a first down on the play, but officials determined that he hadn’t gotten to the line of scrimmage.
The clock stops on first downs in college football. Since Ehlinger was short of the first down and was in bounds, the clock should have kept running. Officials put the game clock at 6:36 remaining in regulation instead of at 5:57 where it should have been.
"Big 12 Conference football officials liaison Greg Burks acknowledges that a timing error did occur," the Big 12 said in a statement to multiple media outlets on Monday. "The play clock should have been set to 5:57 after that play."
Texas was trailing Oklahoma 31-17 at the time of the clock error and that drive resulted in an interception. So the game’s outcome didn’t hinge on the incorrectly added time. But it might have helped Texas tie the game and send it to overtime.
Texas scored 14 points in the final 3:28 of regulation and scored the game-tying touchdown with 14 seconds left to go in the fourth quarter. While it’s impossible to say that the added 39 seconds directly led to Texas scoring that final TD in regulation, it certainly didn’t hurt Texas’ chances.
"We questioned the officials about it,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said at his Monday news conference. “I actually thought they were going to stop it and talk about it, but they didn't. We were not happy about it over on our sideline."
Both Oklahoma and Texas are 2-2 after the Sooners’ win. The game turned out to be the highest-scoring and longest game in the Red River rivalry series. And the Big 12 is likely very happy that it’s not having to deal with loads of Oklahoma fans believing that the mistake led to a Texas win.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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