Sometimes, you have to beat the refs too
I didn’t speak much about the refs during the game on Twitter or in my columns directly afterwards. But that was seriously some of the worst officiating that I’ve seen in quite some time, and it directly affected the Aggies’ score more than once. Now, let’s be fair—there was a play right at the beginning of the game that was more than likely an pass interference on the part of the defense for Texas A&M football that was not called by the referees. I’m not alleging malicious intent by the officiating crew as much as I am pure incompetence.
Arkansas, officially, recorded zero penalties on the day. This despite several instances of the Hog defensive backs mugging Aggie receivers down the field, including one occurrence that sidelined Evan Stewart for the remainder of the game. Arkansas also came into the afternoon averaging a whopping nine penalties per game—an issue that was not remedied within one week as much as it was ignored by those responsible for enforcing the rules. The spots on the day routinely disfavored the Aggies, including Le’Veon Moss twice getting into the end zone at the game’s end without either instance being called a touchdown on the field. I will say one positive thing, though: I do think it was the right call to overturn that targeting against #13 for Arkansas.
In any case, though, it didn’t end up mattering. There are times that I can recall where I felt like a referee’s call swung the outcome of a game such that if it hadn’t been made that way, the Aggies might have had a different, positive outcome. This Texas A&M football team made sure that whatever tomfoolery the refereeing crew was getting up to did not affect the most important statistic: wins vs losses. They overcame that adversity, played their game, and got out of there with a win.