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Officials place first-down marker in wrong spot, leading to OK State TD

An officiating error led to an Oklahoma State touchdown Saturday in the Cowboys' 36-34 win over Kansas State.

In the final three minutes before halftime, Oklahoma State had a first-and-10 at the K-State 45-yard line. After a holding call, a sack and a 4-yard reception, the Cowboys faced third-and-23. Quarterback Mason Rudolph then completed a pass to Marcell Ateman for 19 yards. The first-down marker, however, was mistakenly placed at the K-State 40, instead of the 35, and officials didn't catch the mistake, awarding the Cowboys a first down instead of a fourth-and-4.

Four plays later, Oklahoma State scored a touchdown to cut K-State's lead to 28-20 less than a minute before halftime. It went on to win the game on a 37-yard field goal in the final seconds.

Afterward, K-State coach Bill Snyder told the Kansas City Star he had noticed the error, but didn't elaborate.

"I am trying to think what the official told me about it," Snyder said. "I can't remember right now."

Big 12 officiating came under fire earlier in the week after Texas was flagged 16 times for 128 yards in a last-second loss to Oklahoma State. The most controversial sequence occurred when Texas defensive tackle Poona Ford was flagged for defensive holding on a running play late in the fourth quarter.

While arguing the holding call, Longhorns coach Charlie Strong was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct by the line judge, who appeared to bump into Strong on the sideline immediately before throwing the flag. Propelled by the two penalties, the Cowboys kicked a field goal to tie the game, then won it on the ensuing drive with another field goal after Texas botched a punt attempt.

Big 12 officiating supervisor Walt Anderson defended the calls after reviewing the game, telling ESPN.com he was "generally pleased" with the officiating.

That same Big 12 officiating crew worked Saturday's game between Oklahoma and West Virginia, in which the two teams were flagged 23 times for a combined 245 yards.

"You would have to call whoever the gentleman is who takes care of officiating," said OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, when asked about the high number of penalties. "He said they were all good calls a week ago. It is what it is."