AUBURN, Ala. — What a glorious time it was to be a Tiger, complete with a dog pile in the corner of the end zone closest to the visiting locker room as LSU celebrated a most improbable win at Auburn.
That glorious time did not last very long.
Replay review determined one more second was needed for LSU to turn its perceived victory into a reality. The clock had read 0:00 when center Ethan Pocic snapped the ball to quarterback Danny Etling before his walk-off touchdown pass to D.J. Chark, and the ensuing celebration, like the plot of “Seinfeld,” ended up being about nothing.
“I definitely thought we did win,” Pocic said. “It’s crazy. One second you do, but then one second you don’t. But that’s college football.”
That’s when it was a glorious time to be a Tiger of a different stripe as Auburn players went to their student section to celebrate while LSU players hit the field in stunned silence.
“I was heartbroken at first,” said Auburn receiver Tony Stevens. “I was thinking ‘We can’t lose like this.’ Then I heard people saying ‘He didn’t snap the ball fast enough.’ When they called it back, I was turnt. It made me happy.”
Pocic had no idea how many seconds were on the clock when he snapped the ball — just that time was running short and it needed to be done immediately after the officials marked off a 5-yard illegal procedure penalty against LSU.
“Danny told us to snap it and that’s what we did,” Pocic said. “I don’t even know what was going on. We snapped it and sat back. I knew it had to be a pass, but I had no idea if the clock was running or not or what was going on.”
It was perhaps even more confusing for the guys on the sideline than it was for those on the field.
“We were pretty frustrated,” said outside linebacker Arden Key. “We ran up the field like we had it… It hurt. I don’t know what happened, I didn’t see the replay or anything. I just have to see what happened.”
It was even an all-timer for Les Miles, who seems to experience those on an annual basis.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever come as close to winning a game and finished second,” Miles said.
Even in defeat, LSU tight end Colin Jeter can at least recognize that he took part in yet another memorable chapter in an Auburn-LSU rivalry that has produced legendary moments going back to the 1988 “Earthquake Game” at Tiger Stadium.
“Obviously, LSU-Auburn has a crazy history, and this is another one of those,” Jeter said. “Both teams come to fight and play hard. And both teams did. They just came out on top this time.”