ACC: Controversial call 'not clear'

ACC coordinator of officials Doug Rhoads said Friday that, after further review, "it is not clear" whether NC State receiver Bryan Underwood stepped out of bounds Thursday night in a controversial call that changed the momentum of the game in Clemson's 26-14 win at NC State.

Trailing 13-7 midway through the third quarter against No. 3-ranked Clemson, Underwood sprinted 83 yards untouched into the end zone, where one official signaled a touchdown.

Another official, though, whistled the play dead because he thought Underwood stepped out of bounds. Because the play was ruled dead, it was not eligible for review.

"In last night's Clemson at NC State game, the official ruled the runner stepped out of bounds and whistled the ball dead," Rhoads said in a statement. "In conformance with NCAA guidelines, the replay official properly recognized the play as one that was not eligible for review.

"Our office has viewed all available angles, each numerous times, in slow motion and freeze frame. It is not clear, in reviewing all angles, whether the runner stepped out of bounds or avoided any contact with the sideline. We recognize that within the number of images and angles viewed, some look like he did not step out of bounds while one looks like he did step out of bounds. In the end, this cannot be resolved beyond all doubt."

The play undoubtedly had an impact on the game.

NC State got the ball at the Clemson 47, and three plays later, Vic Beasley sacked Pete Thomas and forced a fumble that Clemson recovered. Five plays later, Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Martavis Bryant, giving the Tigers a more comfortable 20-7 lead.