SEC officer suggests one other name about Auburn’s win over Georgia State
SEC officials have yet another questionable call for explanation, this time in # 23 Auburn’s 34-24 win over Georgia State on Saturday.
That week’s decision came late in the fourth quarter, with the Tigers (4-0) following behind 1-3 Panthers 24-19. On the first and 10th, quarterback TJ Finley appeared to connect with John Samuel Shenker on a 19-yard close to Georgia State 11 with 1:13.
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Officials thought it was a hook in the field, but the call went to SEC headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama for official review. There officials should have seen the ball hit the turf, negate the game, and make it 2nd and 10th for Auburn on Georgia State 30.
Instead, the officials confirmed the game, as it was called on the field, which gave Auburn a vastly easier journey for the eventual touchdown. The Tigers reached the end zone in fourth and 9 with 45 seconds to go. Finley completed a pass to Shedrick Jackson for his first touchdown of his career, giving Auburn a 27-24 lead:
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Georgia State coach Shawn Elliott broached the call after the game, hinting that Auburn got a favorable decision to win the game:
“They had a little help with this check that the ball was incomplete,” Elliott said (via ESPN). “It should have been put back on the 30-yard line. But if you play in the SEC you have to take the hits. And they dealt us a real blow on that call. We appreciate that.”
Georgia State had a chance to tie the game or take the lead in less than a minute, but Auburn’s Smoke Monday intercepted Darren Grainger and gave back 36 yards for a touchdown to make the result more presentable for the Tigers.
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The questionable call comes at a particularly bad time for SEC officials, who earned a lot of bad PR the week after blowing in two games of the third week with no conference calls. The first – and most egregious – was to allow a Memphis player to return a punt against the state of Mississippi after the play was declared dead. The Tigers won 31-29; some of the officials in that competition also named Saturday’s Auburn-Georgia State game.
Later in the day, the SEC crew calling Auburn in Penn State mistakenly removed a down, causing Penn State to encounter the third down. This mistake didn’t turn out to be costly as the Nittany Lions won by 28:20. That was no consolation for Penn State coach James Franklin, who could only say “thank goodness” as he talked about how his team would have a Big Ten official in Week 4.