The national coordinator of NCAA referees said the correct call was made when Stanford Cardinal running back Stepfan Taylor was ruled stopped before crossing the end zone in the last play of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish's 20-13 win on Saturday, the LA Times reported on Tuesday.
Officials ruled that Taylor was stopped before crossing in the end zone on a fourth-and-goal play in overtime. Replay officials reviewed the play and upheld the call, which gave Notre Dame the win.
Rogers Redding, the national coordinator of the NCAA officials, said that the Notre Dame-Stanford officials handled the controversial play correctly and that there was nothing unusual about it. He also added that he would have let the call stand.
As Redding pointed out, the replay officials need to be 100% sure to overturn the call, and the chaos of the scene slightly inhibited that. Only the runner's progress being stopped is reviewable, and replay officials do not have access to audio to know if a whistle has blown the play dead, Redding said.
Redding did say that replay officials can use field officials' signals as visual evidence of when a play has been stopped. On one replay angle, the side judge could be seen moving toward the pile of players to spot the ball, just as Taylor made his last reach.
"He's not going to charge in unless he's sure in his mind that the play is over," he said. "That's another indicator that the play is dead."
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly and many Notre Dame players said that even though Taylor was lying on a pile of defenders and his knees never hit the ground, his final touchdown effort came after the whistle had blown the play dead.