Fiesta Bowl referee explains crucial calls that flipped semifinal

The Fiesta Bowl referee defended two key calls that went Clemson’s way after video review in the Tigers’ 29-23 victory over No. 2 Ohio State on Saturday night in Glendale, Ariz.

A crew of officials from the SEC worked the game between ACC champ Clemson and Big Ten champ Ohio State.

Referee Ken Williamson spoke to a pool reporter after the game to explain two crucial decisions made by review.

Replay officials initiated a video review that led to a targeting call on Ohio State defensive back Shaun Wade in the second quarter after he had sacked Trevor Lawrence on a 3rd-and-5. Wade was ejected and what would have been fourth down became a first down at the Ohio State 30 for Clemson, which then scored to cut its deficit to 16-7.

“This was a crown-of-the-helmet targeting foul,” Williamson said. “So it did eliminate a lot of other factors. Initial contact was with the crown of the helmet. Then he wrapped up for the tackle. So at that point, targeting was properly called.”

In the third quarter, with Clemson up 21-16, the Buckeyes appeared to score a touchdown after Clemson receiver Justyn Ross was stripped of the ball by Ohio State All-America Jeff Okudah and the fumble was returned to the end zone by Jordan Fuller.

Video review ruled Ross hadn’t completed the catch.

“We had a lot of good looks on it,” Williamson said. “The player did not complete the process of the catch, so, therefore, the pass was incomplete.”

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day tried not to criticize the officiating in his postgame comments.

“I think when we look back on it, it is going to be overwhelming,” Day said.


James named AP’s

Athlete of Decade

He played in eight straight Finals, became an NBA champion and delivered on another title promise for his native Ohio. No NBA player won more games or more MVP awards over the past 10 years. He started a school. He married his high school sweetheart.

“That’s all?” LeBron James asked, feigning disbelief.

James is the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Decade, adding his name to a list that includes Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky and Arnold Palmer. He was a runaway winner in a vote of AP member sports editors and AP beat writers; Tom Brady of the New England Patriots was second.

“You add another 10 years of learning and adversity, pitfalls, good, great, bad, and any smart person who wants to grow will learn from all those experiences,” James, who turns 35 Monday, told the AP. “A decade ago, I just turned 25. I’m about to be 35 and I’m just in a better (place) in my life and have a better understanding of what I want to get out of life.”

Soccer: Liverpool extended its unbeaten home run in the Premier League to 50 games with a 1-0 win against Wolverhampton in a match in which two video replays went in the league leader’s favor.

Jurgen Klopp’s side is 13 points clear of second-place Leicester and 14 ahead of defending champion Manchester City, having played one fewer game than each rival.

Sadio Mane’s goal in the 42nd minute was allowed after VAR ruled out a handball from passer Adam Lallana, and a Wolves equalizer from Pedro Neto in first-half injury time was not allowed because VAR revealed there was a fractional offside. It is the second time in Liverpool’s history it has gone 50 league games at home unbeaten in the top division, having achieved a run of 63 games between 1978 and 1980.

Skiing: Mikaela Shiffrin maintained her unbeaten streak in slalom with her third win of the season and matched Lindsey Vonn’s record for most women’s World Cup victories in a single discipline. Shiffrin earned her 43rd career slalom win by dominating in Lienz, Austria, posting the fastest times in both runs to beat Slovakian Petra Vlhova by 0.61 of a second. Vonn had 43 downhill wins when she retired after the world championships in February.

This post was originally posted at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *