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OU football: Lincoln Riley discusses game clock controversy in Sooners' 53-45 win over Texas — 'We were not happy about it'

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Lincoln Riley

Coach Lincoln Riley argues with a referee during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Dec. 28, 2019.

Sophomore linebacker David Ugwoegbu pushed Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger out of bounds as under six minutes remained in the Sooners' eventual 53-45 victory over the Longhorns on Saturday.

As Ehlinger jumped backed to his feet, the game clock ran for an additional seven seconds after the referees blew the play dead. Noticing the error before the Longhorn quarterback could start the next play, the officials briefly stopped the game to fix the mistake.

However, an overcorrection occurred. Instead of placing seven seconds back, the referees reset the game clock to 6:36. The previous play, which ended with Ehlinger's fall out of bounds, started with 6:07 remaining in the game. 

Though the Texas drive was ended with an interception in the endzone by redshirt freshman safety Woodi Washington, the added 39 seconds of time eventually went in favor of the Longhorns as Ehlinger threw a game-tying touchdown pass with 14 seconds left in regulation.

At first, the officials' mistake went unnoticed by many, but head coach Lincoln Riley says Oklahoma's sideline "knew right away" when it happened.

"We obviously knew that wasn't correct," Riley said in Monday's Big 12 coaches teleconference. "We questioned the officials about it. I actually thought they were going to stop it and talk about it, (but) they didn't. We were not happy about it over on our sideline.

"(We) didn't get ton of explanation on it, the game was kind of on-going then. I haven't had the chance to connect with (Big 12 coordinator of officials) Greg Burks on that, but I certainly will be."

Arguably, if the game clock was not overcorrected by the time of Washington's interception, the Sooners could have been in better position to run out the clock and win the game without the need of overtime. 

"I can't promise what I would've done, but it certainly would have had an impact on (our play calling), no question," Riley said. "I thought we made a fairly good argument on the sideline but the officials were pretty convinced that it was right. We had to get on with the game."

Following a bye week, the Sooners face TCU (1-2 Big 12) on Oct. 24 in Fort Worth, Texas.

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