Head referee from Georgia-Alabama title game admits Tyler Simmons wasn't offside
Referee Dan Capron has had a long career in the Big Ten, but he was also embroiled in one of the most-important moments in recent SEC history.
He was the head official for the Georgia-Alabama national championship game following the 2017 season, and he had some interesting comments about that game in an interview he recently did with the Chicago Tribune.
The most interesting comment, without a doubt, was him admitting that Tyler Simmons wasn’t offside on a key punt block during the game:
We had a miss. Alabama was on the ropes. They were deep in their own territory and they’re punting. The punt gets blocked. There’s a flag on the ground because the line judge had Georgia offside. Oh, boy. He (the player, Tyler Simmons) actually had a running start and timed it (properly). He wasn’t offside.
But that wasn’t my call. The blocking backs, a split-second before the snap, moved. That was a false start. That should have been my call. It still wouldn’t have been a blocked punt but instead a five-yard penalty against the offense. You never want to make a mistake of any kind in such a high-profile atmosphere.
Here’s the controversial play involving Simmons, in case you need a refresher:
Of course, it doesn’t matter now, as the game can’t be replayed, but it is interesting to hear Capron open up about the missed call.
That won’t make Georgia fans feel any better, but it was an enlightening interview.