The Pac-12 refs have never had exceptionally positive reputations, with blown calls, confusion, controversies and embarrassing gaffes becoming something of an expectation amongst college football fans.
It all started when Washington State quarterback Cameron Ward was called for intentional grounding on first down, and the refs attempted to enforce the loss of down. Going well so far!
Except they then just straight up skipped second down and went straight to third.
That’s correct, they went from first to third:
But that’s not all they did!
After Washington State did not convert the third down, they punted and the game went to commercial break.
The refs went to replay review and determined (correctly!) that they had skipped third down, and decided to rectify the situation by undoing the previous two plays, including a punt, and allow the Cougars to re-do 3rd and 17.
Fans noticed something was going on, and reacted with extreme confusion to what in the world was happening:
While the Cougars did technically get two chances after the intentional grounding, skipping second down substantially changed the complexion of the series.
Washington State could’ve had two downs to pick up 17 yards and instead were forced to pick up third and long, which they were unsurprisingly unable to do.
Just when you think you’ve seen everything, the Pac-12 refs find a way to come up with new and exciting calls to discredit themselves even further.
Washington State wound up losing the game 44-41 after allowing 28 points to the Ducks in the fourth quarter, leaving Cougars fans wondering what might have been.