The national coordinator of NCAA football officials said the decision to uphold the ruling on the field for the last play of the Stanford-Notre Dame game was correct.
Field officials ruled Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor's progress had been stopped before he stretched the ball across the goal line for what would have been a potential tying touchdown on fourth and goal in overtime Saturday.
Replay officials reviewed the play, and the call was confirmed, giving Notre Dame a 20-13 victory.
National coordinator of officials Rogers Redding said Tuesday there was nothing unusual about the way officials on the field or in the replay booth handled the decisive play.
Redding added that from the replay he saw, he "would have to let that call stand."
"Most of the comments I heard were, 'It looked like to me that' or 'It sure looked like this.' The replay official has to say, 'There is no doubt in my mind.' "
Redding said a runner's progress is reviewable only on plays that could produce first downs or touchdowns. So in the case of the last play of the Irish's goal-line stand against the Cardinal, the fact Taylor was lying on a pile of defenders and his knees were never down, or that one of his elbows might have touched the turf before he stuck the ball into the end zone, should have been irrelevant to the replay officials.
Only the runner's progress being stopped was reviewable, Redding said. Replay officials don't have access to audio and cannot determine whether a whistle has blown the play dead.
Notre Dame players and coach Brian Kelly contended Taylor's last reach came after the play had been blown dead. A couple of Irish players could be seen on replays starting to celebrate right before Taylor put the ball across the line.
Redding did say that replay officials can use field officials' signals as visual evidence of when a play has been stopped. On one replay angle, the side judge could be seen moving toward the pile of players to spot the ball just as Taylor made his last reach.
"He's not going to charge in unless he's sure in his mind that the play is over," he said. "That's another indicator that the play is dead."
Redding said there was nothing about the final sequence that set off alarms about the officiating. "From an officiating standpoint," he said, "it was routine."