Video: Should these two Clemson TDs not have counted?
The Clemson Tigers are the 2016 national champions.
The Tigers dethroned Alabama 35-31 in Tampa Monday night, and it came down to the last play, literally, in the final second.
And what would a national championship be without a little controversy?
Two of Clemson’s touchdowns, including the final one, have fans scratching their heads as to why the officials didn’t call a “pick” play and left the flags in their pockets.
Following the game, QB Deshaun Watson called it a “pick” play, while Dabo Swinney called it a “rub” play. Either way, defensive coaches could have some beef with the no-calls.
Below is the game-winning touchdown from Watson to WR Hunter Renfrow. Watson said after the game on ESPN, “We knew Alabama would be in zero coverage inside the 5.”
The outside receiver ran a quick slant and the Alabama outside defensive back bear-hugged him and actually initiated the contact. The inside defensive back can’t cover the inside receiver on the out like he would want.
Had the outside receiver initiated the contact first, the officials may have called the pick play. But that didn’t happen, and he was wide open for the game-winning touchdown.
— Corey Howard (@choward_media) January 10, 2017
Earlier in the game, Clemson took a three-point lead on a another similar play for a Mike Williams touchdown.
The tight end, who was playing outside receiver in this play, turned around and sold the officials that the play was coming to him. One defender slips down and the other couldn’t fight through the play the way he wanted.
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) January 10, 2017
“Pick” plays are used a lot within college football now, especially near the goal line. It’s usually left up to the officials to determine whether it was a legal play or not. The calls are clearer (and easier) when the wide receiver runs into the defensive player covering the other receiver. Things tend to get complicated when receivers come into contact with his own defender while getting in the way of the other defensive player.
One of the biggest reasons for the no-calls? The officials were letting these two teams play all night.