Clemson just scored 14 points in zero seconds because order of operations is just as hard in real life as it is in math class.
It’s not like the Tigers need any help scoring on South Carolina State today, but Bulldogs kick returner Ahmaad Harris is a friendly guy. After a Wayne Gallman rushing touchdown made it 10-0 Clemson, Harris fielded the kickoff a few yards deep in his own end zone. He casually tossed the football to the official standing nearby, then threw his hand up in the air as if to say “dang, I wish I could have returned that.”
He could have. In fact, he could have done a lot of things with that football. One thing he didn’t do? Anything to make an official blow a whistle and rule the play dead. That dude just chucked a live football on the turf like it was nothing.
What’s great about this is that the referee almost caught it, likely assuming that everyone had done their job correctly here. But they had not. Harris didn’t take a knee to make it a touchback. He didn’t run out of the back of the end zone. He didn’t freeze like video game returner cursed by a disconnected controller, standing motionless until he’s tackled by a dozen Tigers. He just threw it on the ground and started to walk away from a live football.
The official smartly put his hands up and the ball fell at his feet. Then he got the hell out of the way. Tigers safety Denzel Johnson came up with the football in the end zone scramble for another Tigers touchdown. It will go down as a small blip in Clemson’s 31-point first quarter, but it will likely make Ray-Ray McCloud feel a bit better about his punt return boner-for-touchback against Troy last week. At least that didn’t immediately put points on the board for the other team.