When Texas Longhorns junior kicker Cameron Dicker knocked a 40-yard field goal barely inside the left upright at T. Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday against the Oklahoma State Cowboys just before halftime, the high snap from junior deep snapper Justin Mader to junior Ryan Bujcevski wasn’t the only hurdle that Dicker overcame on the play.
In fact, arguably the biggest challenge was the background. On the 6,160-square foot video board behind the play, which measures 56 feet tall and 110 feet wide, Oklahoma State tried to gain an advantage with an optical illusion — vertical yellow stripes against a black background meant to mimic the yellow uprights.
Oklahoma State tried to get Texas to miss a field goal by putting up yellow lines on the video board pic.twitter.com/2Kkb7vZs1F— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) October 31, 2020
In a game that was eventually decided in overtime, Dicker’s late-half kick was a huge factor in the outcome, especially considering that it came after a big swing in momentum — Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders had just fumbled as the Cowboys attempted to score before halftime and Longhorns defensive tackle Ta’Quon Graham returned the recovery 33 yards to set up the field goal.
The bush league attempt to gain some home-field advantage didn’t go unnoticed, however, as the video went viral and the Texas football program contacted the Big 12 league office to get clarification on the legality of that tactic.
“I addressed it with Commissioner [Bob] Bowlsby and Ed Stewart, the Associate Commissioner for Football, and they assured me that is not permissible by Big 12 standards and it has been addressed,” Texas head coach Tom Herman said on Tuesday.
At least the scummy attempt to win the game wasn’t the difference in it.