116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Facing tight coverage from Iowa’s Terry Roberts in the second quarter of the Cy-Hawk game, Iowa State wide receiver Aidan Bitter barely corralled a pass along the sidelines.
The TV broadcast showed Bitter with both feet touching the turf before he fell out of bounds, but it wasn’t so clear in real time.
“In retrospect, I wish I had called a timeout,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said.
Instead, the Cyclones hurried to the line of scrimmage to get another play off before a the Big 12 crew could initiate a replay review.
“That’s one major difference apparently between conferences,” Ferentz said Saturday. “I learned something today. That play would have gotten stopped in the Big Ten.”
That wasn’t Iowa’s only gripe with the Big 12 officiating crew at Kinnick Stadium.
Iowa fullback Monte Pottebaum fumbled the ball near the goal line and Iowa State recovered. The officials ruled it a fumble before he broke the plane of the goal line, which of course would be a touchdown. Iowa thought it was a touchdown. The review upheld the call, though.
The Big Ten Network commentators agreed with the review. Ferentz did not.
“Monte broke the plane, which would make it a touchdown,” Ferentz said. “At least in the Big Ten.”
Having a Big 12 crew for a Cy-Hawk game in Iowa City is standard for the series.
As part of the agreement between Iowa and Iowa State signed in 2013 and amended in 2017 and 2019, the visiting team is responsible for appointing and paying for officials.
So the officials will be from the Big Ten in 2023, Big 12 in 2024 and Big Ten again in 2025. Because of the COVID-19 cancellation of the 2020 game, Big Ten crews have staffed three of the last four games.
Other controversial calls included an unnecessary roughness penalty on Cooper DeJean for his hit on Iowa State quarterback Hunter Dekkers even though Dekkers still had a foot inbounds.
Later on the drive, Iowa cornerback Riley Moss thought Iowa State’s Xavier Hutchinson had a “little shove-off” on his touchdown reception, but the officiating crew saw it otherwise.
While the aforementioned calls could’ve had significant impacts on the outcome of a 10-7 game, Iowa did not put itself in a favorable position to leave Kinnick Stadium with a win anyway.
Iowa State had a 313-150 advantage in total yards, a better quarterback completion percentage and more yards per carry. Each team had three turnovers.
“I’m not going to be one to sit here and talk about the refs and that’s why we lost the game,” Moss said Tuesday. “Because it absolutely is not. We shouldn’t have let them down in the red zone in the first place.”