Ole Miss questions Pac-12 refs after bizarre finish

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Cal's defense stops Ole Miss at the 1-yard line (1:14)

John Rhys Plumlee impresses in the final minute as he attempts to lead Ole Miss to an upset victory vs. No. 23 Cal, but he's unable to push through the pile at the 1-yard line for a TD. (1:14)

Saturday's game between Ole Miss and California ended in controversy when a Pac-12 officiating crew decided not to review a play on which a Rebels receiver caught a pass with both feet in the end zone in the game's waning moments.

Officials quickly spotted the ball at the 1-yard line as the clock continued to run. After a failed quarterback sneak on fourth down, the No. 23 Golden Bears won 28-20 in Oxford, Mississippi.

Afterward, Ole Miss interim athletic director Keith Carter said he was "extremely disappointed" with the officiating at the end of the game and said he expects "a full explanation from the Pac-12 regarding the call and subsequent non-review" of the play.

"We feel strongly that the play should have been reviewed by the Pac-12 officials in the review booth," Carter tweeted. "Even if the play didn't result in a touchdown, the spot of the ball on fourth down was questionable."

The visiting team's conference typically provides the officiating crew for games such as Saturday's between the Golden Bears of the Pac-12 and the host Rebels of the SEC.

On third-and-goal from the 3-yard line with 17 seconds left, Ole Miss quarterback John Rhys Plumlee rolled to his left and connected with Elijah Moore near the goal line. Moore's feet were in the end zone, but the official on the sideline nearest the play ruled that the ball did not cross the plane, and the ball was spotted just short.

Rebels coach Matt Luke pleaded with officials to stop the clock and review the play, but the ball was quickly marked at the 1. Plumlee attempted a sneak and was held short of the goal line on fourth down as time expired.

"I thought at the very least, it should have been buzzed and reviewed," Luke said. "We didn't have a timeout. We could not spike it. Our only option was to get a quarterback sneak and get the ball off.''

A spokesman for the Pac-12 said in an email that the conference would not comment Saturday on the sequence.

In July, the Pac-12 announced it implemented a new policy to improve transparency with its officiating process. The policy calls for the Pac-12 vice president of officiating to issue a public comment if any of the following criteria is met:

• Game-ending call or no-call affecting the result of the game

• Call involving a significant error in officiating mechanics

• Call involving an error in rules interpretation

• Other extraordinary circumstances

The policy says a statement will be "issued no later than the end of the day following the game in which the call occurred."