Clay Travis: Refs Need To Be Held ‘Accountable’ For Tennessee Blunder

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Purdue and Tennessee, a couple of unranked teams, gave fans across Nashville (and social media) plenty to crow about during Thursday night’s Music City Bowl. In what was the most entertaining early Bowl Game of the season, both teams’ defenses appeared to be more interested in tackling rounds at Tootsies, rather than their opponents. Because of that nonchalant approach, the Boilermakers and Vols went to overtime tied at 45, and then things got interesting. Prompting social media to do their thing.

“Absolutely inexcusable. How do we not ever hold refs accountable for errors like this,” asked OutKick founder Clay Travis via twitter.

Travis was referring to what appeared to be an egregious error by the game officials, who called back what would’ve been a go-ahead touchdown by the Volunteers. Seeking a win, Tennessee opted to hand the ball to running back Jaylen Wright on 4th-and-goal, rather than kick a field goal. Initially, Wright was stopped short of the goal line, but he kept his forward progress and appeared to reach for a touchdown.

The officials, however, saw things differently. They ruled Wright down short of the goal line, claiming his forward progress was stopped. On the next possession, Purdue kicked a game-winning field goal, enabling themselves to be serenaded as Music City Bowl champs.

Wright’s failed fourth down attempt set social media ablaze, and saw Travis, amongst a slew of others, calling for the officials’ jobs.

“These refs should be fired and no longer allowed to work,” said Travis. “When you screw up this bad you don’t deserve employment as an official.”

Travis wasn’t alone in his disgust.

Tennessee’s first-year head coach Josh Heupel was clearly disappointed with the outcome, but pleased with the effort displayed by his seven-win team. He told 247 Sports: “I love these guys, man. They fight, they scratch, they claw, they compete. Shoot, it’s a great competitive environment in there tonight, and ended up a play short.”


Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF

Written by Anthony Farris


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  1. It was a stupid coaching decision going for it on 4th down in OT, if you don’t convert, it’s game over you lose. Simple as that. The opposition runs 3 times and sets up a chip shot FG. So if I was a UT fan I’d be more pissed at Pruitt than the refs.

  2. Frustrating call since the whistle was not blown. I think the whole world learned a new rule that the refs can determine forward progress was stopped without blowing the whistle. UT didn’t play well enough on D to win this game and blew several opportunities Purdue gave them. Heupel has to recruit better athletes in the secondary. That was pitiful.

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