Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis did his best not to bang on the officiating in Saturday’s 38-34 loss to Michigan during his Sunday news conference.
But Weis is still baffled by some calls that were made in the loss.
One of the biggest calls Weis disagreed with was Irish running back Armando Allen being ruled out of bounds at the Wolverines’ 22-yard line after he appeared to score a 41-yard touchdown off a screen pass late in the first quarter.
The touchdown would have tied the game at 7, if the Irish converted the point-after attempt, but Notre Dame had to settle for a field goal and a 7-3 deficit with 46 remaining in the first quarter.
"I watched that tape a hundred times this morning; just like I watched it when it happened; just like there were two guys that were standing right on top of the play when it happened; and from what I understand the TV was on top of it; I still haven’t had anyone tell me there was any evidence of Armando stepping out of bounds," Weis said. "The way I thought the rule was supposed to be, I thought there was supposed to be conclusive evidence. I’m a little perturbed at that call."
Weis was also unhappy with the game clock changing from 11 to 10 seconds back to 11 seconds and then to 9 seconds at the end of the game.
The time was taken off the clock because running back Theo Riddick appeared to touch the ball on the kickoff before it rolled out of the end zone.
Weis said he talked to the officials about the time that limited Notre Dame to one play at the end which went to receiver Golden Tate, who tried to make a big play but was stopped around the 50-yard line as time expired.
"I guess I should have kept my mouth shut. It went from 11 to 10 to 11 to 9," Weis said. "Their answer to me was they thought that Theo tipped the ball in the field of play on the squib kick which then would start the clock. I couldn’t tell if he did or he didn’t, I will take their word that that happened. That’s where the 2 second came from. Maybe I shouldn’t have complained then we would have had 10 instead of 9."
Weis joked that the decision to take the 2 seconds off the clock came from the same official who ruled Allen out of bounds on his touchdown run.
After getting a laugh, Weis said he believed the game official in the box above the field is in charge of how much time should be on the clock.
"I think it’s the official upstairs, that’s the only thing I can imagine," Weis said. "It had to be the referee who made that decision. I guess it wasn’t the same guy who made the call on Armando."
Weis wasn’t "perturbed" with every call.
He said he understood the holding penalty called on Irish right guard Sam Young that negated a 76-yard catch by tight end Kyle Rudolph that put the ball around Michigan’s 4-yard line. Though, Weis did refer to the flag as a "tick-tack" call.
"What happened on the play, we chipped the defensive end," Weis said. "I’m not sure if it was an extra tight end or a fullback. We chipped him and knocked him inside of Sam. Sam has him and throws him to the ground. If he just pushes him to the ground, they probably don’t call it. Because he has his hands up and throws him to the ground that is what they called.
"You are looking at that in the heat of the moment and you’re not watching everything that happened, you are just seeing a guy getting thrown to the ground at the end of the play. I can understand if you are not watching the whole play why you end up calling it. It’s a 76-yard gain and a 10-yard loss the other way that is 86 yards."
Weis said he is sending in some plays to the Big Ten to receive explanations for why some of the calls were made. Weis made a point to say he wasn’t filing any formal complaints, but he was sending more plays looking for an explanation than usual.
"We had plenty of opportunities to win the game," Weis said. "What you don’t want to do after a hard-fought game is use the officials as a scapegoat. Am I happy with the officiating? No.
"But you don’t want to do that because then you’re saying the only reason we lost is because they blew a couple of calls."
Weis also said he had to be careful about what he said about the officiating because a Big Ten crew will be calling Notre Dame’s home game against Michigan State on Saturday.