Minnesota fans were right. The Big Ten admitted on Tuesday it made a major officiating error in the Gophers’ season opener versus Ohio State.
In the fourth quarter of last Thursday’s game, Buckeyes safety Lathan Ransom lowered the boom on Minnesota wideout Mike Brown-Stephens. The hit caused a fumble which the Ohio State defense recovered and would have returned for a touchdown had the refs not called the play dead.
The play proved pivotal in what was just a two-score game at the time. Had Brown-Stephens held onto the ball, the Minnesota offense would have found itself in Ohio State territory with four minutes to play. Instead, the Buckeyes forced the turnover and ran out the clock to win the game. Turns out, the refs made the wrong call.
PJ Fleck told KFAN 1003 on Tuesday that the Big Ten admitted it made an officiating error and that targeting should have been called against Ransom. Had the call been made, Ransom would have probably been ejected and would miss the first half of the Oregon game this Saturday.
Note: #Gophers coach PJ Fleck said on @KFAN1003 the Big Ten acknowledged #Buckeyes safety Lathan Ransom should’ve been called for targeting on receiver Mike Brown-Stephens. The message essentially is, we’re sorry, Fleck relayed, while emphasizing it’s not why they lost to Ohio St
— Andy Greder (@andygreder) September 7, 2021
Even officiating expert Mike Pereira thought it was a foul and the targeting should have been reviewed for possible ejection.
Take a look.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 3, 2021
Unfortunately, none of this matters now. Ohio State got away with one and Minnesota paid the price. Big Ten officiating has to get better.
There were plenty of controversial calls during the Ohio State vs. Minnesota showdown. Most of those calls went against the Gophers.
Minnesota gets back to work this Saturday against Miami (OH). Ohio State, meanwhile, takes on Oregon.