Derek Mason won’t invite officials to his house for tea and crumpets soon.
The Vanderbilt coach was miffed — and rightly so — after his Commodores were relegated to the rotten end of things during an egregious overturn of an apparent fumble by Auburn running back Kamryn Pettway in a key sequence Saturday. (More on that lovely incident later.)
You can understand the fire. Sometimes, coaches must feel like officials are flies in their eyes after so much planning, stress and sweat goes into game prep. A bad call here or a botched chance to blow the whistle there can turn a head honcho hot. On some occasions, coaches must wish they could take a flyswatter and smack the nearest object in stripes to knock their blood pressure down a few points.
As always, the SEC provided fodder related to the officiating during another game day. Here are a few situations worth revisiting:
Kerryon Johnson’s full extension earns him full reward
Keep calm and Kerryon.
After a 2-yard gain, Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson was ruled down at Vanderbilt’s 1-yard line in the first quarter of the Tigers’ 23-16 victory over Vanderbilt at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Fortunately for Auburn, instant replay rushed to the rescue.
Upon review, officials determined Johnson extended the ball past the goal line before tumbling to the turf. The ruling gave Auburn a 7-3 lead in what turned out to be a topsy-turvy afternoon for the Tigers against a game Commodores squad.
As Johnson’s situation showed, each inch matters.
— AuburnPix (@AuburnPix) November 5, 2016
Targeting trouble in Auburn
This one caused quite a bit of hubbub.
Auburn sophomore linebacker Deshaun Davis was ejected for targeting in the first quarter of the Tigers’ victory when he launched himself at Vanderbilt wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb during a pass from quarterback Kyle Shurmur.
Fans booed, but this was the right call. Davis led with his helmet, and even though trying to understand targeting can be more confusing than attempting to grasp an advanced physics course, the correct decision was made here.
Kudos to all involved.
Targeting or no? pic.twitter.com/00SN1Fy823
— C.J. Holmes (@_ceejay22au) November 5, 2016
Trevor Knight’s toes are terrific
Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight might have a career in tap dancing if football flames out for him.
Check out this slick touchdown run late in the first quarter that cut Mississippi State’s lead 14-7 at Davis Wade Stadium. (Spoiler alert: By losing 35-28, the Aggies saw their College Football Playoff hopes tumble faster than a house made of toothpicks in hurricane-force winds.)
The athleticism Knight showed to keep his left foot in bounds was impressive. The call was ruled a touchdown and confirmed after review. Keep dancing, sir.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 5, 2016
Zach Cunningham was done wrong
Officials might as well have slipped on ski masks and told Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham to freeze, because he was robbed.
The play was initially ruled a fumble. But after review, the call was overturned, and the Tigers retained possession. Two plays later, they scored to take a 17-13 lead.
There’s no way there was indisputable evidence to overturn the fumble call. Perhaps Cunningham’s freakishly amazing skill frightened the officials too much. Whatever the explanation, it’s not good enough.
Zach Cunningham is RELENTLESS. Forces a huge fumble by wrenching the ball from Kerryon Pettway's hands pic.twitter.com/E4G1JHPOpO
— Christian D'Andrea (@TrainIsland) November 5, 2016
K.C. Crosby almost corrals a touchdown
So close, but so far.
South Carolina tight end K.C. Crosby nearly completed a catch that would have made a Ringling Brothers acrobat proud. Midway through the second quarter against Missouri, Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley lofted a pass to Crosby, who appeared to snag a 17-yard touchdown pass as part of South Carolina’s 31-21 victory at Williams-Brice Stadium.
But officials saw otherwise. Crosby’s left foot didn’t stay in bounds, and the pass was ruled incomplete. It was a borderline call, but the Gamecocks cashed in with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Bentley to Rico Dowdle on the next play.
Beautiful toss from Bentley to the corner for Crosby. Ruled incomplete, must be for a bobble. He got a foot in. Review coming.
— Mike Wilson (@MikeWilsonAJC) November 5, 2016
Sideline shenanigans in Baton Rouge
Bring on the mini-brawl!
The LSU-Alabama series is like seeing big brother and little brother sling mud at each other in the backyard. The teams have a heated history. The games between the programs always seem to hold a little more sizzle. And after a while, those feelings can boil over.
Take, for instance, this episode in the third quarter of Alabama’s 10-0 victory at Tiger Stadium. A few Crimson Tide players found themselves outnumbered on LSU’s sideline and … whoops. They won’t pass out peace medals after this.
Hat tip to the officials for keeping everything under control.