While most people were watching the opening of the NFL season Thursday night between the Steelers and Titans, there was also a college football game going on between Georgia Tech and Clemson. Since the college game started an hour earlier than the pro one, I’m guessing most people saw Georgia Tech run out to an early 24-0 and figured the thing was over and that Clemson was folding early in the year like they always do. Crazy thing about it is that Clemson actually didn’t pack it in despite the large deficit — they rallied to take the lead 27-24 in the fourth quarter. Tech got the ball back and drove to tie the game at 27 with a field goal, leaving just under six minutes on the clock. That’s around the time Clemson got screwed.
The Tigers were around midfield in a 3rd and 11 situation when they completed a long pass down the right side of the field (pictured) that would have taken them down into field goal range. Somehow, someway, a flag got thrown well after the catch was made and we found out there was a holding penalty called on the left guard of Clemson. The Georgia Tech defensive tackle was running out of steam rushing the quarterback and started to fall down, conceding defeat to the offensive lineman. As the Tech guy was losing ground and falling down, the Clemson lineman essentially fell on him to make sure he wouldn’t get up. And that’s what the referees said was holding. The 10-yard penalty turned things around from Clemson having the ball in field goal range to having a 3rd and 21 at their 34. They throw an incompletion, wind up punting, Tech takes the ball and drives down the field for the game-winning field goal.
Now I’m not saying that the Yellow Jackets wouldn’t have won the game but had that horrible call not been made Clemson would have had an excellent chance to take the lead — possibly for good. The call was so bad that the officials called a makeup holding call against Georgia Tech when the Jackets got the ball back. It was also so bad that even Georgia Tech fans acknowledged the terrible call that helped them win the game. It’s too bad the officials changed the game with one bad call like that. I wonder if they had some money on the Jackets.
Photo Credit: Charlotte Observer