Big Ten officiating came in for heavy criticism Friday night after Purdue lost a go-ahead touchdown in the final minute of the fourth quarter to an offensive pass interference penalty.
The consensus was the side judge who threw the flag (and whose name was omitted from Minnesota’s official box score) made a horrendous call.
Tight end Payne Durham was called for pushing off before he caught what would have been a scoring pass to give the Boilermakers (2-2) the lead with 52 seconds remaining. Purdue quarterback Jack Plummer threw an interception on the next play. Minnesota (2-3) then ran out the clock for a 34-31 victory.
“I didn’t like it all,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said during his postgame Zoom call with reporters. Brohm added that he “did not get a good explanation” from the officials as to why the penalty was called.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” Brohm said.
Purdue Athletics’ Twitter feed leaned on a social media hot-button issue to voice its displeasure with the call:
Fans on Twitter pointed to other disputable calls earlier in the game to argue that the officiating a. Was bad all night and b. Also helped Purdue at times. But it’s the call at the end of the game that will linger in people’s minds. A sample:
Unbelievable way to have that game taken away from my boilers. One of the worst calls i can remember. Need to be able to challenge certain penalties because that was weak. Just brutal
— Kevin Kiermaier (@KKiermaier39) November 21, 2020
Say this very rarely but the official who called the pass interference on @BoilerFootball TE should be given the season off. That was painful to watch.
— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) November 21, 2020
Wow, that pass interference call on Purdue. Wow. If you see things that aren’t there, you can’t ref at any level. That guy is done. Period. That’s not a judgment call. That’s your eyes fooling you. You leave the profession tonight, after apologizing.
— Graham Couch (@Graham_Couch) November 21, 2020