What the NCAA rulebook and Pinstripe Bowl referees had to say about Oakes' controversial missed field goal

Indiana kicker Griffin Oakes missed a potential game-tying field goal in overtime, and the ruling by officials sparked some controversy. Read on for the NCAA rulebook and officials' explanation on why the attempt could not be reviewed.

NEW YORK --- Griffin Oakes and Erich Toth stood with their hands in the air, as if to signal it was good. 

But Oakes' potential game-tying 38-yard field goal attempt in overtime was not good. Oakes took off his chrome and crimson helmet and walked over to the officials with his arms up in disbelief, protesting them to review their final call, but one official put up a hand to stop him from saying another word. There would be no review as Indiana fell to Duke 44-41 in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. 

The missed field goal gave Duke (8-5) its first bowl game victory since 1961, while leaving Indiana (6-7) winless in its third bowl game played since 1991. 

"There was no explanation. It (the field goal) wasn't good," Wilson said when asked if he received any word from officials on the final play's ruling. "You can sit there and look at it, but when I saw the scoreboard, to me it looks like it travels outside the bar, hooks in, on the other side of the goal post. Bottom line is, you don't win games with a lot of field goals and you don't win games when you miss five scoring opportunities."

According to Article 1b in Section 3 of the NCAA rulebook, field goal attempts are reviewable "if and only if the ball is ruled (a) below or above the cross bar or (b) inside or outside the uprights when it is lower than the top of the uprights. If the ball is higher than the top of the uprights as it crosses the end line, the play may not be reviewed.

The second sentence of that statement is what the officials say they saw on the final play of the game.

"The ball went beyond the end line over the top of the upright and when that occurs, the play is not reviewable," the officiating crew said in a quote sheet provided to the media after the game. "The ruling was that the ball was outside of the upright and in order for a field goal to be good, the ball has to be completey inside the upright." 

Officials also said the ball went "way beyond the endline, airborne" when asked if it was beyond the endline. 

Indiana senior quarterback Nate Sudfeld set up the field goal after his pass on 3rd and 6 from the Duke 21 fell incomplete. From his vantage point on the sideline, it was difficult for him to tell whether the ball was going in or not. 

"I was hoping it was going in, but I really can never tell whether we make it or miss it seeing it from my angle," Sudfeld said. 

At the end of the regular season, Oakes was named the Bakken-Anderson Kicker of the Year after setting the school record for most field goals in a single season and finishing with a Big Ten-leading 88 percent field goal percentage. Sudfeld made a point to mention that when asked how Oakes was dealing with the missed kick. 

"I mean, he's the best kicker in the Big Ten, so I think he'll be alright," Sudfeld said. "I mean, he's obviously -- we're all disappointed in the loss, but I think he'll be good to go and lead this team next year to great things." 

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