Did a Blown Safety Call Cost the Texas Longhorns the Biggest Upset of the Week?

Texas vs. Alabama, September 10, 2022. (Courtesy Fox Sports, via Twitter)

In an absolute blockbuster of a college football game, the unranked Texas Longhorns came extremely close to toppling the No. 1-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.

The Tide certainly did themselves no favors with bad play and an exceedingly high number of penalties, but last year’s Heisman winner, quarterback Bryce Young, led the team down the field with a minute and a half left in the game to win, 20-19.


But, there was a moment earlier in the game that would have changed the outcome in serious ways.

After a punt that resulted in Alabama getting the ball on the 1-yard line, Texas was able to take down Young in the endzone for a safety. Or so everyone thought.

In a confusing moment, a flag was thrown at the hit, with a referee calling roughing the passer and targeting. Even the commentary booth was condemning the pair of calls.

But the calls were waved off after review. There weren’t two calls, as originally thought, but one.  However, looking at the film, it seems that Young may not have been down as originally thought. The referees decided that Young, because he had gone over the back of the defender tackling him, was not down and got a pass off before he touched the ground.

So, rather than get a 2-point safety and possession of the ball, the Longhorns had to settle for the Tide getting another shot at getting out of the endzone.


The call was met with outrage both in the stadium and online.

It was, quite possibly, the weirdest sequence in recent college football history. From the other camera angles, you could possibly make the argument that Young wasn’t down, but that would also raise the question as to whether or not that attempted pass is intentional grounding.


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