Monday, October 12, 2009

Dean: Refs got call wrong vs. Huskies

October 12, 2009, 5:52 PM ET

Dean: Refs got call wrong vs. Huskies

Associated Press

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Arizona wide receiver Delashaun Dean says he will never wear those football shoes again, not after that weird play in Seattle.

Nick Foles' short pass under duress bounced off Dean's size 14½ shoe -- and, the receiver insists, hit the ground -- then Washington's Mason Foster grabbed it out of the air and ran 37 yards with 2:37 left for what proved to be the winning touchdown in the Huskies' 36-33 victory.

"I felt it graze my foot, but the way the ball bounced up, it would have hit my foot a lot harder," Dean said. "I figured it had to hit the ground, then after seeing the pictures you could actually see the black beads from the turf jump up when the ball hit the ground. It's pretty obvious when you look at it. I don't know how it got missed."

The play was on display on several Web sites Monday, and from one replay angle, captured in stop action, the ball appeared to hit the ground.

Mike Stoops, as emotional as coaches get on the sideline, said he was resigned to the non-call.

"They are what they call," he said at his Monday news conference. "You guys know how frustrated I get, but that's just part of it. It's not going to change. There's nothing you can do about it now. It is what it is. You just live with it and go on."

Foles, a redshirt sophomore who completed 39-of-53 passes for 384 yards and a touchdown in his second start, has had a hard time living with the outcome. He threw two interceptions in the game -- the goofy one and another on a desperation pass at the finish.

"It's sort of hard to sleep," he said. "I keep replaying the game in my head a billion times."

Arizona had a 33-21 lead with less than three minutes to play in Seattle before Washington scored two touchdowns in a span of 18 seconds.

First, Jake Locker threw 25 yards to Kavario Middleton to cut the Wildcats' lead to 33-28 with 2:55 remaining.

After the subsequent kickoff, Foles went to the line of scrimmage on first down and saw the Huskies packed in to stop the run. He decided to throw the short pass to Dean, a play that had worked all night.

"All we needed was like a first down and we could seal the game," Foles said.

But this time, he said, a linebacker got in his line of vision "and made me throw a bad ball."

"It was probably a bad decision by me," Foles said. "... I was just trying to throw it low. If he caught it, he caught it. If not, it's an incomplete pass."

Did he think the ball touched the ground?

"I don't know," Foles said. "I thought it did when I looked at it, but it's one of those things where the ref's got to make a call. I guess they didn't have enough evidence to overturn it. It's a tough break, a weird bounce and we just have to move forward."

It was an odd end to a trip that got off to a strange start when starting defensive tackle Earl Mitchell got knocked in the head when someone quickly opened a door to the baseball office in the hallway of McKale Center on Friday morning. Mitchell required a few stitches above his eye and did not make the trip to Seattle that afternoon.

He said he expects to play this Saturday against Stanford in the first of three straight Pac-10 home games for the Wildcats.

Stoops thought the referees wrongly overturned a fumble call that Arizona recovered earlier in the game and that the timekeeper was slow in turning on the clock several times. What does he think of replay reviews now?

"I think it probably evens out. That's what they say, 'Life always evens itself out.' That's what you hope," Stoops said. "I don't know. It helped Washington. It's funny how it evened out very quickly, you know what I'm saying."

Stoops talked about things the Wildcats could have controlled. They made eight trips to the red zone but settled for field goals four times. Then there were two crucial personal fouls, the second on Vuna Tuihalamaka moved the ball from the Arizona 40 to the 25, setting up Locker's TD pass that cut the lead to five.

Still, the outcome gnawed on the Arizona coach.

"We played awfully well in that game," Stoops said. "We played good enough to win."

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