SEC releases statement noting the officiating issue that cost Arkansas the game
The SEC has released a statement to clarify the referee’s ruling in the controversial ending to the Arkansas-Auburn game.
With the Razorbacks up 28-27, Auburn QB Bo Nix attempted to spike the ball and stop the clock on third-and-1 at the Arkansas 20, but bobbled the snap. Nix appeared to spike it backward, which would have resulted in a fumble, and about that time, a whistle blew, however, Arkansas appeared to recover the apparent fumble.
The play was originally ruled intentional grounding, however, and that call was confirmed on review, which led to a loss of down and a 10-second runoff for the Tigers.
“Because recovery of the football was not clearly made in the immediate continuing football action, the ruling on the field was determined to stand,” the statement read.
Arkansas coach Sam Pittman shared on a post-game radio segment the explanation he received:
“They just said it was a fumble, a backward pass, but they blew the whistle before we recovered the ball so they couldn’t review it, I guess. That’s the explanation I got,” Pittman said.
Both the determination of a backward pass, and the immediate clear recovery are required to overturn the call. Overall, three rules were referred to in this statement.
Statement on play at :30 to go in fourth quarter of Arkansas-Auburn game. pic.twitter.com/L1UQRlFx2M
— SEC Officiating (@SECOfficiating) October 11, 2020