As you’ve no doubt seen by now, Gamecocks quarterback Stephen Garcia (this guy) was stopped on a quarterback draw in the red zone by umpire Wilbur Hackett Jr during LSU’s 24-17 victory on Saturday. While it certainly looks like Hackett leans into Garcia with a shoulder to drop him after a four-yard gain, SEC officials claim otherwise:
“The umpire’s most vulnerable position on the field is right behind the line of scrimmage and sometimes gets right into the play. In this case, the umpire is there, he tries to defend himself by putting his arms up. The quarterback shifts direction a little bit and he puts his arms up.
“He makes an attempt to defend himself. I know it may look different on video, but what we see is that he makes an effort to protect himself.”
That’s a good call. I like the way he steps into it and initiates contact to protect himself. Why, if he tried to sidestep Garcia and get out of the way, he couldn’t have defended himself while he wasn’t getting in the way of the play.