Alabama isn't waiting for SEC explanation on dual catch
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — University of Alabama coach Nick Saban wanted to make a call to the league office to get an explanation on the controversial “simultaneous possession” call from Saturday night but hasn’t had a chance yet.
There’s that whole thing about getting ready for an unfamiliar opponent, Missouri, in this week’s Southeastern Conference Championship Game in Atlanta (4 p.m. ET, CBS).
“I think it was probably a tough call. I guess simultaneous possession goes to the offense,” he said Monday afternoon. “I guess the only argument you could make is Bradley (Sylve) caught the ball before the other guy caught the ball, and came down in bounds as did the other guy. So that would be the argument you would have to make.
“I don’t have a comment one way or the other. I think it was a tough call either way.”
The play occurred late in the third quarter when Auburn had third-and-2 at its own 44-yard line. Quarterback Nick Marshall threw up a sideline pass to wide receiver Quan Bray, only it appeared to that Alabama cornerback Bradley Sylve had better control of the ball and got a foot down inbounds before the two continued to wrestle for it after falling down to the ground.
After a lengthy review Saban was clearly upset on the Alabama sideline when it was ruled “dual possession,” or in layman’s terms, “tie goes to the receiver.”
However, former official Mike Pereira of Fox Sports claimed that in this case it doesn’t. He wrote:
“Let’s look at the NCAA Rule Book, Part 2, under “interpretations” for the answer. Under the Completed Pass, Article 6, rule 7-3-6, section 2: Two opposing players receive a legal forward pass while both are off the ground, and one payer returns to the ground inbounds before the other. Ruling: No simultaneous catch. The legal forward pass is completed or intercepted by the player who first returned to the ground.”
Regardless, the 35-yard gain only led to a field goal to give Auburn a 36-27 lead. Alabama came back and won the game, 55-44.
“We were all kind of upset about that, but that’s the way it goes,” senior safety Nick Perry said. “Things happen. You just have to move on and get past it.”