Cal coach praises Pac-12 for admitting mistakes

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — California coach Sonny Dykes praised the Pac-12 on Tuesday for acknowledging that replay officials erred in overturning two touchdowns for the Golden Bears on one drive in the Big Game against Stanford.

In the third quarter of Stanford’s 38-17 victory Saturday, officials overturned three straight apparent touchdowns by Cal. The conference said Monday night that there was not enough evidence to overturn the final two touchdown calls made by officials on the field.

“To me they did the best they could,” Dykes said. “What can they do? They can’t reverse the calls. They can certainly at least give me the feeling and our fans the feeling and our alumni the feeling and our administration the feeling that they want to get it right. I applaud them for the action and I know they want to get it right.”

On the first two plays, Luke Rubenzer appeared to run for scores only to be ruled down just shy of the goal line. After a personal foul on the second run backed Cal up 15 yards, Jared Goff appeared to complete a touchdown pass to Kenny Lawler but that also was overturned when the replay crew ruled Lawler did not complete the catch.

Cal, which trailed 31-7 at the time, had to settle for a field goal.

“I’m glad to see that they did some action toward that,” Goff said. “At the same time, I don’t think that’s the reason we lost that game. It was one series. We didn’t lose the game because of the officials. They definitely didn’t help us in any way on that drive but we shot ourselves in the foot too many times. That didn’t have any effect on the game.”

The Pac-12 says the “replay crew will be held accountable for the errors through the Conference’s disciplinary process.”

Dykes said he remains in favor of the use of instant replay to correct egregious calls but believes there might be too many plays getting reviewed.

“I think the standard in replay has to be indisputable video evidence,” he said. “I think if it starts and ends there, I think the game all of a sudden becomes a lot easier to officiate from a replay perspective.”

The Bears (5-6) have bigger concerns than replay heading into Saturday’s regular-season finale at home against BYU (7-4). Cal needs a win to be eligible for a bowl for the first time since 2011.

“Being able to win that and play another game, especially for the seniors, that will be the most important thing,” running back Daniel Lasco said.