Koetter glad to be back with Pac-10 referees

Updated: October 20, 2003, 7:08 PM ET

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter was diplomatic Monday, declining to pinpoint the number of bad calls he believes the Sun Devils received at North Carolina.

At the same time, he left no question he's glad to get back to Pac-10 competition and officiating.

The Atlantic Coast Conference refereeing crew flagged Arizona State for 16 penalties in a 33-31 victory over the Tar Heels on Saturday, and made two questionable rulings on laterals that came close to changing the outcome. The Sun Devils (4-3) won on the final play when Andrew Walter found Skyler Fulton with a 5-yard scoring pass.

Even then, Koetter said, his players used the word "eternity" to describe how long it took before an official decided Fulton came down in-bounds and signaled the touchdown.

Afterward, Koetter promptly sent Pac-10 officiating coordinator Verle Sorgen the game film for review. He said he asked Sorgen to double-check procedures that Sun Devils coaches are teaching players to make sure they're not in violation of rules.

"I promised myself that I'm not going to tell you how many of those penalties I think were legit -- of those 16," Koetter said at his weekly media briefing. "Some, definitely; all, no."

"Anyone who was at the game, I think, they could all line up afterward and they could take a lie detector test and see if we had 16 legitimate penalties."

He stopped short of accusing the ACC crew of trying to throw the game.

"I don't think anybody ever initially sets out to try to take something from you," Koetter said.

Thanks to solid defense, the Sun Devils had the ball three times following North Carolina's last score with 7:43 left. They were driving on the next-to-last possession until Derek Hagan's first-down catch on fourth-and-5 was nullified by an interference call against the wide receiver.

Koetter also was upset by the two rulings on laterals -- one leading to a fumble recovery and subsequent TD by the Tar Heels, and another taking away a fumble recovery by Arizona State when it was ruled an incomplete pass -- and by three holding calls against the Sun Devils deep in UNC territory.

The bad experience in Chapel Hill in Arizona State's third game all-time against the Tar Heels won't affect future scheduling, the coach said. In fact, it probably will be long forgotten before the teams get together again.

"Our schedule is pretty much done through, like, 2012," he said.

The Sun Devils are 1-2 in conference play and travel to Los Angeles this week to play UCLA.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index