SEC officiating crew makes major mistake forcing Penn State to punt on 3rd down
College football fans were promised the White Out game between the No. 10 Penn State Nittany Lions and the No. 22 Auburn Tigers would be a wild game. It just became halftime, and there is already major controversy in the game of the week.
In the second quarter, there was a miscommunication between quarterback Sean Clifford and his receiver to where Clifford’s ball overthrew the intended receiver, who never finished the route. The foul was for intentional grounding, even though there was no pressure from Auburn’s defense. The result of the play was a loss of one-yard, a five-yard penalty, and a one-down loss to make it second down.
After a five-yard pass from Clifford to wide receiver Jahan Dotson, the play became third and 11 but officially on the field, the play became fourth and 11. Despite the questioning from Penn State head coach James Franklin, the Nittany Lions punted the ball on an official fourth down. On the stats sheets and every track keeper of plays off the field says the play is still third down.
— Audrey Snyder (@audsnyder4) September 19, 2021
Franklin was asked about the loss of an extra down by ESPN sidelines reporter Holly Rowe to where he gave a disgruntled look. That look by Franklin said it all of the SEC officiating during this entire game and their reasoning why they took off an extra down.
#PennState got screwed out of a down on that last series. Officials called it fourth down, but PSU had to punt on third-and-11.
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) September 19, 2021