Brooks says missed calls hurt Cats' cause

November 30, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

LEXINGTON - No one on the Kentucky sideline said they heard a whistle blow as they watched linebacker Dustin Williams return a Tennessee fumble to the 2-yard line.

That could have given UK a 14-0 lead over No. 7 Tennessee, a team the Wildcats have not beaten since 1984, late in the first quarter. Instead, the officials huddled, ruled that Tennessee receiver William Revill had been stopped before he fumbled, and gave the ball back to Tennessee.

While that play didn't beat Kentucky, it was a big factor in Tennessee's 20-7 victory.

"That didn't mean anything," Kentucky coach Rich Brooks said sarcastically after the game. "It just would have given us another touchdown. That's all I'm going to say. I was warned about what would happen to Kentucky."


"I was just told when I got the job that Kentucky would not get many calls," Brooks said. "I think I got good advice."


Brooks said he never got a "good explanation" about why the play was nullified.

"They (the officials) were not willing to talk," Brooks said. "Nobody told me a whistle blew (to stop the play)."

Williams didn't hear anything during his 30-yard return, either. He thought he had put Kentucky in position to get an easy score when he grabbed the fumble.

"They said they blew the whistle, but I didn't hear any whistle and I was right there," Williams said. "I feel like they took that play away from us."

"That's just what they do because we are Kentucky," receiver Chris Bernard said.

Brooks said he felt there were several other controversial calls that went against Kentucky. He thought Leonard Burress intercepted a pass that was ruled out of bounds and that Glenn Holt had a 30-yard sideline reception that would have gotten UK better field position that also was ruled out of bounds.

"The officiating has been very inconsistent in my opinion," Brooks said. "It didn't look like he (Holt) was juggling the ball. That was a pretty huge play, too, because it would have got us away from our end zone."

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