On Saturday night, Miami beat Duke in what many are calling the craziest ending in college football since the last time something crazy happened in college football. Which, to be honest, happens every week now. But on the craziness scale, this probably trumps Michigan State’s punt block over Michigan and Auburn’s kick-six over Alabama, at least for now.
If you haven’t seen it, go ahead and take a look at the video below. It’s one of those plays that doesn’t look real. It’s one of those things that looks like it happened in a video game but there were real, actual people involved, some of whom are actually employed by a conference to handle in-game shenanigans. I’m of course talking about the refs, people responsible for calling penalties and stuff.
As was noted around on the web after the play, there were a number of issues with the magical 8-lateral return. We briefly hit on them in this post but it bears repeating.
The Miami player was clearly down here.
And the ref was right on top of the play.
Moreover, there was a flag on the field for a block in the back that was “picked up” after a conference with officials. A supposed no-no in this instance.
Officiating guru Mike Pereira wasn’t buying any of that nonsense and unleashed his fury on Twitter.
Thus far there’s been no official word from the Atlantic Coast Conference on the play but that’s not stopping Duke coach David Cutcliffe from weighing in.
“I wish I could shed more light on what happened, but no one explained to me exactly what happened,” Cutcliffe told reporters. “I heard exactly what you all heard. I got no explanation on the sideline. I would like the whole play reviewed in detail. I thought there were other questionable blocks on the play.
“I’m just going to tell you like it is: I thought the guy [Walton] was down, and I think pictures will prove me right that he was down.”
As if things couldn’t get worse for Duke (or in this case more amusing), a Miami player was seen running on the field during the play with his helmet off. Sure, he “could” have been flagged for this nonsense. Who really knows what he was thinking. Something something pure unadulterated joy.
Friend of the site Robby Kalland had the most spot-on reason for headless man’s shenanigans: “It was a really crazy play and fun should be allowed because sports are supposed to be fun sometimes.”
I can accept that part. I can. His pure bliss did not affect the outcome of the play so “shrug emoji” or whatever, I don’t really care.
What I won’t accept, however, is complete incompetence on the part of these officials. We’ve reached a point where refs need to answer for their tomfoolery in post-game scrums. Someone needs to be held accountable for this.
Oh, and if you’re wondering how crazy this victory was, take a look at this stat from ESPN.
I’m so, so sorry Duke. You deserved better.