Golden Spectacles: Zebra Nightmares - A Closer Look at the Penalties in Cal vs. OSU

So, did we get jobbed by the refs, or did we really self-destruct in an epic fashion that goes well beyond the realm of a faceplant and more towards the demesne of a Do-It-Yerself-Self-Lobotomy Kit?  Was this some serious home-cookin', we really...not...that...good...?  Self-medicate and read on after the jump.


Penalty #1:  1st Quarter, 1st Drive, 1st series.  2nd and 10.  They initially called Illegal Formation on us, but got overruled.

Conclusion:  Great call.

Dr. Sunshine:  Yay!

Mr. Blue:  Oh shaddup.

Penalty #2:  1Q, 1D, 2S.  1st and 10.  Shane Vereen runs for fifteen yards, but #53 (Donovan Edwards) gets called for a hold. 

Fair call.  Edwards clearly wraps his arm around their DE and then tackles him.(right at the white/blue line junction.  Notice Vereen is three yards upfield)  Completely unnecessary since Shane was already well past him.  Thanks to 1st and 20, the drive stalls.

Conclusion:  Fair call.

Dr. Sunshine:  Clearly, their DE rotated in Edwards arms.  That was just leverage.

Mr. Blue:  In some states, they'd be legally married right now.



Penalty #3:  1Q, 2D, Receiving Kickoff.  #20 Called for illegal block below the waist.  Negates a return by Keenan Allen to near midfield. 

At first, I thought this was a complete BS call.  You can clearly see the OSU defender being cut by Isi Sofele from the front.(middle of screen, 3 yards upfield from KA #21)  He is not being hit from the side or back, and is not otherwise engaged while being cut.  The rules state, "A player must be facing north-south and the blocker's body must be on line perpendicular to the block."  Sure looks exactly like what happened.  However, upon further research, you are not allowed to block below the waist on any down in which a kick takes place.  Damn.  That's a coaching issue - our special teams guys should know that.  Instead of starting on the 40, we start on our own 10. 

Conclusion:  By the rulebook, this is the proper call.

Dr. Sunshine:  Isi just slipped!  In front of that guys legs!  Yeaaaah...

Mr. Blue:  It's only been an NCAA emphasis for the past year or so.  How would we know?




Penalty #4:  1Q, 2D, 3rd and 11.  Marvin Jones (bottom of the screen) goes in motion and leaves early.  Flagged for a false start. 

Can't dispute this one either.  Leaves us at 3rd and 16 from our own 4...which becomes the last throw for Kevin Riley as a Golden Bear.

Conclusion:  Fair call.

Dr. Sunshine:  Jones is fast.  Really fast.  This is just one of those lag-time mirage thingies.

Mr. Blue:  If you're the #1 WR, and the guy in motion, how about waiting for the snap?  Oh.  Snap!




Penalty #5:  1Q, OSU's 2nd Drive, 1st Series, 2nd and 10. (4:41 to go)  Chris Conte called for a late hit out of bounds.  Kind of a weak call. 

Conte does run into him near the sidelines, but his momentum carried him into Jacquizz Rodgers and he was trying to pull up.  He didn't face mask, throw him down, or complete the tackle.  This gives them great field position at the 50.

Conclusion:  Bogus call.

Dr. Sunshine: I call shenanigans!  He didn't light him up!  This was a boom-boom non-call!!!

Mr. Blue:  Your senior safety should be well aware that most refs legally qualify as "visually impaired" not to mention "special."




Penalty #6:  1Q, 3D, 3rd and 15, :09 to go.  Edwards called for a false start.  Pretty darn obvious.  He would be the one standing up while everyone else is set.  (sigh)

Conclusion:  Fair call.

Dr. Sunshine:  He was just getting set!  Really, really set.  Again.

Mr. Blue:  The cheese stands alone...The cheese stands alone.  That's what I'm calling Ol' 53 from now on.  The Big Cheese.



Penalty #7:  2Q, 5D, 1st and 10. 10:23 to go.  Dead-ball unsportsman-like conduct called.  No player named.  I think this was Tedford arguing about the uncalled late hit out of bounds on Vereen (Editor's note: Yes, this unsportsmanlike was on Tedford. He apologized for it in the postgame presser.)?  Penalty negates a 10+ yard run by Vereen and leaves us with 1st and 26.  Greaaat.

Conclusion:  Bad call.  Especially considering their earlier flag on Conte.

Dr. Sunshine:  Good for Tedford standing up for his guys!  Call it both ways!!!

Mr. Blue:  Yeah.  Composure is overrated.  It's not like they look up to you or will follow your lead.





Penalty #8:  2Q, 5D, 2nd and 26.  9:25 to go.  Crack-back block called on Spencer Ladner

Can't see the foul on the replay.  However, that blurry player just above the scorebox?  That's Ladner.  If he did hit someone, it was 20 yards down the field and so far away from making a difference in this play that it's downright sad.  I suppose it's possible they were flagging  Dominic Galas for diving at the legs of Stephen Paea at the very end of the play and got the number wrong.  15 more yards would make it 2nd and 41.  I haven't seen that type of down and distance since the Holmoe years.  And I still haven't - OSU declined the penalty to make it 3rd and 26.

Conclusion:  Hard to say since it happened off-screen.  It seems implausible that Ladner cracked someone 20 yards downfield.  If they were calling Galas, then it's just a bad call, period. (He barely touched Paea)

Dr. Sunshine:  Look at that effort!  Blocking downfield.  Never say die!  Never give up!

Mr. Blue:  Good plan.  Let's illegally wipe out the safety twenty-plus yards downfield while the other eight guys in the box corral our the line of scrimmage.




Penalty #9:  2Q, 5D, 3rd and 26.  8:57 to go.  Yes.  That's three plays, three penalties in a row. Dominic Galas (65) is called for holding. 

He grabs his guy, throws him down, and just to make sure the refs don't miss it, he tackles the guy from behind, too.  OSU declines and takes the down (incomplete pass to Jones) to make it 4th and 26.

Conclusion:  Fair call. (sigh)

Dr. Sunshine:  Galas is the Chosen One!  He brings a physicality to our line that we desperately need.

Mr. Blue:  If only this game were about wrestling or calf-roping.  He did everything but brand a 'DG' on that guys rear-end.






Penalty #10:  2Q, OSU's 4th drive, 1st and 10.  8:15 to go.  Chris Conte called for pass interference. 

He clearly hit Markus Wheaton before the ball arrived.  The best part of this play is that Ryan Katz was rolling out, was about to get sacked, and was just trying to throw it away.  Automatic 1st down at midfield.

Conclusion:  The film don't lie.  Fair call.

Dr. Sunshine:  Uncatchable!  Uncatchable!!!

Mr. Blue:  Uncatchable because our guy smacked their WR instead of playing the ball.




Penalty #11:  3Q, 1st drive.  2nd and 1.  9:42 to go.  Anthony Miller (80) called for holding. 

Instead of a successful run on 2nd and 1, we now have 2nd and 11.  Couldn't see Miller on the replay, but I'm sure the hold looked nothing like this one. (Sarcasm - The dude all but tackled Cameron Jordan)

Conclusion:  Couldn't see it.  But, considering the woeful performance of the Oline and TE's, not so hard to imagine.  Probably a fair call...It still would have been nice to see a flag or two on OSU for similar plays, however.

Dr. Sunshine:  Call it both ways!  They've been tackling our guys all day, ref!

Mr. Blue:  Totally.  There's no way Mr. Tackle Eligible could get close enough to hold anyone.



Penalty #12:  3Q, 1D, 3rd and 11.  8:09 to go.  Edwards (53) called for a false start. 

(He's the one at the top of the line standing while everyone else is set)  Now it's 3rd and 16.  Not his best game.

Conclusion:  Fair call.

Dr. Sunshine:  He's being framed.  Stupid computer interwebz lagtime.

Mr. Blue:  The Cheese stands alone...The Cheese stands alone...



Penalty #13:  3Q, 2D.  Receiving OSU's punt.  2:02 to go.  Mark Anthony (2) penalized for an illegal block in the back. 

He shoves their gunner around the 35 yard line.  Instead of starting near the 40, we start at the 23.

Conclusion:  Fair call.  But, if the Italian soccer team ever needs a sub, this guy should audition.

Dr. Sunshine:  The dude totally tripped.  In fact, I think he shoved Anthony.  That's a no-call at worst.

Mr. Blue:  I agree.  He deliberately flexed his scapula and shoved Anthony's hand with his back.  A true travesty of justice.



Penalty #14:  3Q, 2D.  1:04 to go.  Holding. 

Player not announced, but it looked like it was Matt Summers-Gavin who had just replaced Edwards.  Whiffed on his block and grabbed the guy from behind.  Could also have been Chris Guarnero.  Negates a really nice 40+ yard pass from Brock Mansion to Michael Calvin.

Conclusion:  At least two players got beat, and started grabbing/shoving from behind.  Fair call.

Dr. Sunshine:  See?  See?!!?  They didn't name anyone!  It's a conspiracy!!!

Mr. Blue:  At this point, I think the refs just wanted to go home.  They're probably gonna need Vicodin and ice for weeks to treat the muscle pulls from throwing all those flags.  I don't blame them for not taking the two minutes necessary to explain that at least two (maybe three) of our Big Uglies were holding.  Again.



Final tally:

Offense:  9  (3 False Starts + 1 Unsportsmanlike + 4 Holds + 1 Crackback)
Defense:  2  (Late hit + Pass Interference)
Special Teams:  2  (Illegal Crack-back + Block in the Back)

Of these, only the late hit out of bounds (Conte), the bizarre invisible crack-back(Ladner) and perhaps the unseen unsportsmanlike conduct calls were questionable.  Sadly enough, we earned all the others.  Yeah, OSU got away with a few, but let's not kid ourselves - that's not why we lost.  This was completely uncharacteristic of a Tedford-coached team.  So, the obvious question is...who exactly is coaching the offense?  Uh, Coach...Maybe this is a good time to get a little more hands on?

Dr. Sunshine:  Mansion finally gets his chance.  With a solid whole week of practice, I'm sure he'll be able to run our offense better than he has in his previous three and a half years!  Let's do this!!!

Mr. Blue:  They call it "The Curse of the Palouse" for a reason.  Doooooomed.

The opinions expressed in a FanPost are, in every way, reflective of the opinions of every California Golden Blogs Marshawnthusiast. Moreover, they are reflective of every employee of SBNation, including Tyler "Blez" Bleszinski.

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