The college football season officially kicked off on Saturday when the Notre Dame Fighting Irish took the field against the Navy Midshipman. Unfortunately, it seems like the referees in the game may not be in mid-season form just yet.
Notre Dame has pretty much been in command of this game from the very start of it in the debut of transfer quarterback Sam Hartmann. They could have been doing even better in the game if not for a questionable call at the beginning of the third quarter.
Navy faced a 28-0 deficit to start the second half, and they received the football looking to cut into the big Notre Dame lead. Unfortunately, their struggles continued as Navy quarterback Tai Lavatai made an ill-advised pitch attempt on an option play which led to a fumble.
It looked like Notre Dame had recovered the ball, as a Notre Dame player came out of the pack with the ball. Instead, the officials determined that Lavatai had possession of the ball underneath the pile of players fighting for the ball.
Things nearly went from bad to worse to start the half for Navy on a disastrous option play. However, the officials ruled that Navy had recovered the fumble even though a Notre Dame player came out of the pack with the football. pic.twitter.com/aSMk49ynCY
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) August 26, 2023
You be the judge, but it certainly looks like nobody had possession of the loose ball until a Notre Dame player came away with the ball from the bottom of the pile.
Fans took notice of the call and were questioning how this was the call that was made on the play.
Notre Dame recovers fumble and they give it to Navy…. ok
— Jared Walden (@JWalden4) August 26, 2023
Respectfully, how are they gonna just invent possession for Navy on that fumble when Bertrand was the only guy to ever pick it up?
— Corey Kandil (@Light_theKandil) August 26, 2023
Refs continue to be… questionable. The pass interference that was flagged, but on second thought wasn’t a pass interference…? What in the world was that?
JD Bertrand clearly recovers a fumble and it goes to Navy. What?
— Ben Belden (@realbbelden) August 26, 2023
Refs making up rules and somehow saying Navy recovered a fumble when clearly ND recovered. Such trash.
— JJH (@jjhiler) August 26, 2023
How in the world was that fumble ruled a Navy recovery? And how was play not stopped to review the very clear video evidence? #NDvsNavy
— JLM_Tweets (@tweets_jlm) August 26, 2023
How do you rule that fumble being recovered by Navy?
— Brett in Kansas (@KSCubs10) August 26, 2023
The call didn’t exactly matter in the grand scheme of things, as Notre Dame has continued to run away with this game in a clear rout. That being said, it looks like officials, much like players, need a few games to round into form…