Oklahoma football coach Lincoln Riley added some clarification to the controversial end of Saturday’s game at Baylor when he was asked about it Tuesday night on his weekly coaches show.
On the opening segment of his weekly TV/radio show, “Sooner Sports Talk with Lincoln Riley,” Riley was asked about the end of the Sooners’ 27-14 loss to the Bears.
Riley said the referee should have ended the game after thousands of Baylor fans rushed the field with three seconds left, and protested vehemently throughout the ordeal to referee Kevin Mar.
Riley sent his players to the locker room following Baylor coach Dave Aranda’s timeout — as fans poured onto the field at McLane Stadium — but instead of ending the game, game officials made Riley bring 11 players back onto the field for Baylor’s final play: a field goal as time expired.
After that, even more fans rushed the field. In the melee, Riley said linebacker David Ugwoegbu was “bum-rushed” by three men and he had to pull them off his player; elsewhere, defensive back Justin Broiles could be seen on TV getting up off the ground in a mass of Baylor fans after being knocked down.
Here’s the full exchange from Tuesday’s show between Rowland and Riley:
“Did you have to come back on the field? Do you have to have a defensive guy on the field at the end of the game? Is that was the referee was telling you?”
“You do. Um, my point, my argument had nothing to do with that. My argument was, the officials and the ADs have — they have the power, if there’s an unforeseen circumstance, and a game is already decided, that they can shut it down right there. And that’s what I wanted to happen.
“Listen, Baylor could have kicked the field goal the previous play before the people rushed the field, and I’ve already said my piece on that. That’s their choice. There’s nothing I can do about that.
“But once their fans rushed the field, it was — it was pretty hectic down there. There were some really close-to-bad things that were happening, or about to happen, and that’s not a good situation. So then I got — my first inclination, I knew there was still time on the clock, but I told the team, ‘Get in the locker room. Everybody. Get in the locker room.’ Because it was not — it was not a good situation down there.
“That was my point to the officials, was, ‘Y’all are gonna pull all these people back (off the field), you’re gonna make us bring our players back out there, and then they’re (Baylor) gonna do what ever they’re gonna do, and then they’re (fans) gonna rush this field again and we’re gonna do this again?
“Like, player safety, all this, I know the game’s already decided, and I know that they had the power to do it (end the game) — they disagreed that they didn’t (have that power), but they do.
“We got it done, and (fans) rushed it again and thankfully the guys got out of there OK.”