Gus Malzahn responds to repeated officiating controversies in Auburn games
There is a perception building that Auburn’s record of 3-2 does not accurately reflect the kind of season the Tigers have had.
At his Tuesday press conference, Malzahn was asked about calls by officials that have gone Auburn’s way, and how many SEC fans figure Auburn should have two losses against Arkansas and Ole Miss, instead of two wins.
“We had a kickoff return” for a touchdown called back,” Malzahn said. “That was a tough one. That’s just the way it goes. We won the game.”
On Monday, the SEC announced a $25,000 fine to Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin, but also said the replay official should have stopped play to review the call after the fourth-quarter kickoff appeared to have touched the right hand of Auburn returner Shaun Shivers. The Rebels recovered in the end zone but the on-field call was that Shivers didn’t touch it and play wasn’t halted for a review. Replays showed that the ball touched Shivers fingers as it bounced past him.
That came after an earlier controversial ending in a win over Arkansas in Week 3.
With under 30 seconds left and his team trailing 28-27, Auburn QB Bo Nix fumbled a snap, then picked the ball up to spike it and stop the clock. Nix turned his back to the line of scrimmage and spiked the ball backward.
In its statement after that ruling, the SEC said, “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.”
Auburn then kicked a field goal to win.