Pac-12 suspends referee for penalty on wrong team in Washington State loss to California

The Pac-12 has suspended a referee for one game after an officiating crew awarded a penalty to the wrong team in California's 33-20 win against Washington State on Saturday.

Early in the third quarter, Washington State returned a kickoff to the 50-yard line, but a hands-to-the-face penalty was called against the Cougars and they were forced to take over at their own 8-yard line. The penalty was actually committed by a Cal player and should have tacked on 15 yards to the end of WSU's return.

"After the next play was run, the referee informed Washington State that there was an error in application of the penalty," the conference said in a statement.

The referee, listed in the official box score as Matt Richards, will serve a one-game suspension, and the remaining members of the officiating crew have been downgraded, according to the conference.

WSU went 74 yards on the ensuing drive, before settling for a 35-yard field goal which cut its deficit to 20-14.