NCAA Football

Iowa's go-ahead punt-return touchdown vs. Minnesota controversially waved off

The referees ruled Cooper DeJean waved for a fair catch with his left hand


The Floyd of Rosedale belongs to Minnesota this season. But not without some controversy.

Down 12-10 in the fourth quarter with a chance to go on a game-winning drive, Iowa punt returner Cooper DeJean instead took Mark Crawford's punt to the house after weaving past the entire Minnesota special teams unit.

It gave Iowa a vital 16-12 lead at home at Kinnick Stadium, but before the PAT kick could be taken, the touchdown was waved off.

The referees ruled that DeJean waved his left arm to call for a fair catch, which instead spotted the ball at the Iowa 46-yard line and wiped out the score. Former referee Reggie Smith broke down the ruling on the NBC broadcast.

Some Iowa fans expressed their disagreement with the call by throwing trash onto the field, which caused a temporary stoppage of play.

The Hawkeyes still had a chance to win it, but quarterback Deacon Hill capped off a rough day at the office with an interception that sealed the deal. Hill threw for just 116 yards on 10 of 28 completed passes.

DeJean, a 20-year-old junior defensive back, offered his point of view after the game.

"I've never called for a fair catch with my left hand, ever," DeJean said. "I was kind of just keeping my balance, I guess...Frustrating, but you got to move on."

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said he's never seen a worse call in his career.

With the result, Minnesota picked up its first win over Iowa since 2014. It was also the Golden Gophers' first win in Iowa's stadium since 1999.

Minnesota additionally moved to 4-3 on the season as Iowa fell to 6-2, possibly losing its spot as the No. 24-ranked team in the nation in the process.

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