Clemson Football encountered a handful of situations in their 17-12 win over Wake Forest where the officiating was questioned by the fans, and head coach Dabo Swinney shared those sentiments.
"“Certainly nobody’s perfect, but there’s definitely a couple that I disagreed with for sure, but we’ll keep moving forward. Thankful we were able to win the game.”"
The sequence of events surrounding the Deacons’ illegal forward pass early in the game was confusing for all, including Swinney.
"“Just like the play that, I mean, we thought the quarterback was across the line of scrimmage and a forward pass, and they ran another play and it was a penalty, and then they come back and they reviewed the play before the play. So, there’s some challenging things that come. Because my comment was OK, if they had thrown a touchdown pass, would we have called that off? Because the ball was snapped.”"
I was similarly confused, but the false start penalty is technically pre-snap, so no snap occurred officially. It’s similar to when a coach calls a timeout to ice a kicker. Maybe the snap happens and the kicker knocks it through the uprights, but because the timeout was called, it never officially happened.
All the officials have to do is call for the review before the next snap. Technically, Wake could have had four pre-snap penalties in a row, and they still could have reviewed the forward pass.
Swinney wasn’t sure how to explain the roughing the passer call on Jeremiah Trotter that extended a Wake Forest drive. Even the impartial announcers thought the call was incorrect.
"“A tough call. I don’t know what you tell your linebacker… They made the call, but it is what it is.”"
You can read more from Gavin Oliver at The Clemson Insider here.
Quick story: I needed one credit hour during my senior year at Clemson to graduate. I had my heart set on bowling. I had bad luck and was one of the last upperclassmen to pick their schedule, and bowling was booked solid. The only recreational course available was sports officiating. What choice did I have? I had to graduate and I would get paid.
The point of that story is to tell you I have officiated intramural sports at Clemson, and have officiated youth soccer in the years since, and I can tell you three things:
- It isn’t easy
- It’s a thankless task
- They are rarely paid enough
I sympathize with the officials, but only to a point. The reality is that if you are going to take that job, there is an expectation of getting the basics right.
What is it that Swinney said about the kicking situation? Make the lay-ups?
I don’t know if I could come close to officiating pass interference calls in real time when both players are all over each other. I am amazed how some of the officials get those correct as often as they do.
The roughing the passer call and the forward pass call weren’t in the same category. They were lay-ups.
I don’t blame Coach Swinney for being upset, but as he said, the Tigers came out of the game with a W.