Charlie Strong had never seen anything like it.
A defensive holding call while the offense was running the football?
“That's what is surprising, because you think about it, the play before we got the interference call, and the very next play you get a defensive holding call, and they run the football,” Strong said. “I've never heard of that.”
Here’s the play in question involving Texas defensive tackle Poona Ford:
“In all my years of coaching, I've never seen that so I thought it was holding on them, so I was clapping thinking we were going to get a call at one point, and they was going to barely take them back, and then the guy said it was a defensive holding call, and I said, "On a run play on the offense, that cannot happen," but it did,” Strong said.
And that’s when this happened:
Strong was called for unsportsmanlike conduct on this play after it appeared like the referee initiated contact with Texas’ head coach.
So just like that OSU was positioned at the UT 19 where Texas’ defense stood tough and forced OSU to kick a game-tying field goal.
But those were far from the only questionable calls that went against the Longhorns in this one, far from.
Paul Boyette Jr. was called for a ticky-tack “roughing the passer” penalty that wiped away a Boyd interception. OSU would go on to kick a field goal on that drive to extend its lead to 17-13
Patrick Vahe was called for a questionable holding penalty that negated a D’Onta Foreman touchdown run.
Duke Thomas appeared to have corralled a fumble, which didn’t go Texas’ way.
All told, Texas had 16 penalties for 128 yards. Oklahoma State had 7 for 40.
“Well, you look a lot of those penalties, and I love to see some of them because, I mean, we had 16, I don't know what they had,” Strong said. “And I told the guys, it's like we're getting all their holding calls, and I said, "I know this: Their defensive line can't block our guys." But we gotta be a better disciplined football team.”
Those feelings were shared throughout Texas’ locker room.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever been in a game that was so lopsided penalty wise,” Longhorns offensive play-caller Jay Norvell said. “We seemed to have a bunch and they didn’t seem to have many at all.”
The most egregious one was the “holding” call on Ford, who, if anything, was the one that got held.
“I was very surprised,” Longhorns defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway said about the penalties that went against Texas. “Like the holding call against Poona. I didn’t see no holding. They held us all the time. How do we get a holding call like that. Some calls were…"
He’d never seen anything like that.
“Not at all. Not on a double-team,” he said. “I’ve never seen a defensive holding on a double team when one of the dudes still holding on to him. That surprised me.”
Thomas didn’t want to get into how he felt about his fumble recovery that wasn’t.
“I don’t want to talk about that. I don’t want to put nothing into that,” he said. “They made the call and it’s as simple as that. A lot of things happen out there that I might not agree with but that’s the way the chips fell.
He did say he was surprised by some of the calls but that “it is what it is.”
When it’s all said and done, though, the Longhorns know several of their penalties were self-inflicted, and that they’ve got to get better in that regard.
“We had far too many penalties,” Norvell said. “We have to do a better job of eliminating that. We just have to execute better. We don’t have anyone to blame but ourselves.”