SEC issues statement following controversial punt return in Mississippi State-Memphis game
Mississippi State was on the wrong end of a controversial call against Memphis on Saturday. Hours after the game ended, the SEC issued a statement about the play.
At issue is when Memphis scored on a 94-yard punt return in the fourth quarter by Calvin Austin III, his third touchdown of the second half.
Two Mississippi State players touched the ball inside the 10-yard line, and a nearby official tossed a bean bag, however, the players never downed the ball. That’s when Austin scooped it up, and weaved down the sideline to score and give the Tigers a huge momentum swing, 21 unanswered points. It appeared that the Bulldogs may have illegally touched the ball on the play.
By rule, the kicked ball was live, the statement read. Then the statement referred to an “inadvertent” call to “stop the clock,” which was reviewable and play should have been stopped.
Finally, the league also admitted that it missed a call that Memphis had a pair of players wearing the No. 4 jersey on the field at the same time.
This will certainly draw the ire of Mississippi State fans.
— SEC Officiating (@SECOfficiating) September 19, 2021
— Greg Brandt (@devywarehouse) September 18, 2021