LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The Big East Conference says game
officials were wrong in failing to call a penalty on an onside kick
by West Virginia in its victory over Louisville.
"We're acknowledging that a mistake was made on the play,"
associate commissioner John Paquette said Tuesday. "We don't have
a formal statement on it."
With the Cardinals leading 24-14 in the fourth quarter Saturday,
the Mountaineers attempted an onside kick, sending a high looping
ball in the air. Louisville receiver Jimmy Riley tried to catch the
ball but was hit by a West Virginia player and the Mountaineers
Unlike a kickoff that rolls on the ground, which is fair game
for any player after it goes 10 yards, the receiving team must be
allowed to field a ball in the air. A penalty flag was thrown but
was waved off after an officials' conference on the field. The
Mountaineers kept the ball at their 48, drove for a field goal and
scored another touchdown to tie the game and force overtime. The
Mountaineers won 46-44 in triple overtime.
Louisville coach Bobby Petrino wouldn't hang the result of the
game on that one play.
"It's unfortunate," he said. "But one thing we try to tell
our players all the time is it's not what happens in your life,
it's how you react to it. ... That's what I would have liked to see
us do: find a way to win the game and react to it in a better way.
"The only thing they [officials] told me was that they didn't
think he was running to catch the ball."
Louisville receiver Joshua Tinch, who tied a conference record
with 13 catches, said the Cardinals had other chances to put the
"We made mistakes all game," Tinch said. "We can't let just
one play change the game."