Everybody makes mistakes. Yes, even college football players, coaches, and referees.
Some mistakes can have game-altering consequences, while others are simply fun to laugh at. This list includes both. Here are three mistakes that caught our attention during Week 3 of the college football season. Did we miss some?
In Saturday’s showdown with No. 12 UCLA, Texas managed to kick off to begin both the first half and the second half. The Bruins won the coin toss and deferred their choice until the third-quarter, but the Longhorns’ captains inexplicably told the referee that his team wanted to kick off to start the game. In layman’s terms, that means Texas chose to kick off to start the first half and UCLA (obviously) chose to receive to start the second half. It’s sort of a ‘heads I win, tails you lose‘ scenario.
Needless to say, Texas coach Charlie Strong was not at all pleased with the way the usually ceremonial coin toss unfolded. Apparently, in a game that ultimately came down to the final possession, one extra possession just might have been a big deal.
As CBSSports.com points out, Saturday’s Duke-Kansas game featured both teams lining up the wrong direction for a fourth-quarter kickoff. Needless to say, that doesn’t happen every day. Making the circumstance even more unique — or potentially explaining part of the reason — the Blue Devils had 11 non-scholarship players on the field at the time.
The officials finally got everything straightened out before the ball was kicked off, and in a game that finished 41-3, this momentary mistake had no impact at all on the outcome. You can watch the teams line up (and then switch up) here.
The Kentucky Wildcats had lost 27 straight games to Florida coming into Saturday night’s matchup in the Swamp, and the stage seemed set for the streak to finally snap. Kentucky led by a touchdown in overtime with the Gators facing 4th-and-7 and the play clock running down. Florida had already used its timeout, and as the play clock changed from one second remaining to zero, the ball had not yet been snapped.
Instead of a delay-of-game whistle, though, the officials allowed the play to continue, which — naturally — resulted in a Florida touchdown pass to force overtime number two. A correct call would have backed the Gators up five yards, blown the play dead, and given Kentucky a 4th-and-12 to survive/defend for a monumental win.
The conference defended its officials, saying the back judge is supposed to look at the play clock until it hits zero and then down to the ball (to see if it’s moved yet), which he did, but that explanation won’t come close to satisfying Mark Stoops and Big Blue Nation after a three-overtime gut-wrenching defeat. By definition, a delay of game penalty should be enforced if the clock hits zero. No one would be able to say of a Hail Mary pass as the game clock expires that, “Well, the ball was snapped just after the clock hit zero, but it was quick enough that the human eye couldn’t see both at the same time, so we’ll let it count.” That line of thinking shouldn’t fly here either.