SEC championship game questionable calls: A fumble and a pick play
The SEC championship game wasn’t close enough to be controversial. Alabama handled Missouri, 42-13. Though entering the fourth quarter, the Crimson Tide held just an eight-point lead.
The officials called a clean game and weren’t a major factor. The two most blatant calls in question — what appeared to be an Alabama fumble recovered by Mizzou and what appeared to be an illegal pick on a Mizzou touchdown — hurt different teams.
Watching this game closely, I think the officials did a nice job.
With Alabama leading 14-3 in the second quarter, Missouri appeared to strip Crimson Tide RB Jalston Fowler and immediately recover the ball. Replay shows the Tigers stripping Fowler before the whistle blew. But instead of reviewing the play, the officials allowed Alabama to run a third-down snap, so the Tide kept possession.
NO PASS INTERFERENCE
Did Jimmie Hunt push off from the defender on this 63-yard reception? It’s tough to tell from the shot the CBS broadcast gave us, but in real time it appeared that he may have when the ball floated in the air.
On the very next play, Maty Mauk tried to hit Darius White in the end zone for a touchdown, but Eddie Jackson knocked the ball away after tight coverage — maybe too tight. Jackson definitely rested his left arm across the back of White before the ball arrived. Did Jackson grab White’s jersey or apply any force?
Tough to say. But this was another bang-bang, subjective no-call that could’ve gone against Alabama.
OFFICIALS DECIDE TO STAY OUT OF IT
Just a few plays later — on the same drive — Missouri faced fourth-and-goal from inside the 1-yard line.
The officials clearly decided they weren’t going to make a drive-changing call. Given a third opportunity to do so, they stood pat.
Jimmie Hunt drove his left shoulder into the chest of an Alabama defensive back on an obvious pick play, but the Tigers got away with it for a Bud Sasser touchdown, getting within 21-10 in the third quarter. The score set up a Mizzou field goal that got the Tigers within 21-13, but the Tide put the game away with three fourth-quarter touchdowns.