With 1:33 to play at Austin Peay, I watched as Justin Kraemer kicked an onside kick that was absolutely perfect. The ball must travel 10 yards before being touched by the kicking team. Kraemer’s kick bounced to the 10 yard mark, and stalled. Tech recovered the ball at its own 40-yard-line, down 31-28.
Lee Sweeney and the offense drove down the field in just over a minute’s time with the help of a couple of Austin Peay pass interference penalties.
On first down on the Austin Peay 20, Sweeney passed to Henry Sailes for a gain of only five yards and Sailes was held in bounds. Clock runs.
The ball is spotted by the refereeing crew with around 23 seconds left on the clock. Tech is lined up and ready to spike the ball to stop the clock, the clock still runs.
With 10 seconds left, the referee finally steps away from the ball, allowing play to resume. Sweeney spikes the ball to stop the clock.
Tech then has to use a timeout to decide to take a shot at the end zone or try to kick a field goal. The field goal missed just right and Tech suffered its sixth loss of the year.
If the referee had moved out of the way in the appropriate time, Tech would have had plenty of time to take one, maybe two shots at the end zone and still have a timeout left.
We’ll never know what may have happened, but it would have been nice to get a chance.
The clock management at Austin Peay was the worst I’ve seen in a long time.
There were at least 4 stoppages of play to reset the game clock.
On the missed field goal by Tech, there were 10 seconds left on the clock prior to the snap. After the 32 yard miss, the clock was all zeros.
To kick a field goal, it takes roughly one second per 10 yards of distance. So, from snap to finish, Kraemer’s kick should not have taken more than 5 seconds max.
There were 21 penalties called in the game. Many of those were justified, some were questionable.
What is it with referees lately? From the NFL to the NCAA, it seems to me that the caliber of officials has declined drastically.
Jacksonville State head coach Jack Crowe said that “officiating is an art”. I agree.
I feel that officiating takes delicacy and talent to create something that everyone can enjoy, but at this point these guys are just finger-painting.