It hasn’t been a pretty conference schedule for South Carolina. As if facing defending champs LSU wasn’t enough Saturday, they had to deal with some extra shenanigans. In a crucial red zone possession late in the first half, the Gamecocks had to line up against 12 defenders. Why didn’t the ref throw a flag? Because the ref was the 12th man.
[UPDATE: We have an ID on the ref. It’s Wilbur Hackett, Jr., and he was a linebacker at Kentucky.]
(”Referee mad…referee smash!”)
USC QB Stephen Garcia might have had an easy path to the end zone, if not for one zebra who got a little too caught up in the bloodlust that is American Football. (You might’ve seen this already. But have you seen it in Super-Slo-Mo-What-The-Heck-Is-He-Thinking-O-Vision™?)
Let’s break down the tape. Despite the outcries of the Gamecock faithful, the official did not tackle him. At the most, let’s give him an assisted tackle, and that’s with a generous stat crew. That ref has good footwork, matching Garcia’s jukes and fakes and putting himself in a position to bring him down. But, likely having played too much Madden and becoming enamored with the truck stick, he tried for a highlight-reel forearm tackle. You’ve got to wrap up the legs there!
Despite the clear lack of fundamentals, some USC fans are hoping their scouts had their eyes open on that play: (via the FANHOUSE)
The ref is a 3 star. 6′1″ 210 lbs. A little slow but he has us in his top five right now. Too bad we are full a LB this year!
It’s been a rough year for football referees (see Ed Hochuli, above, but don’t make eye contact). But I never would have guessed that Ed would be the one to affect a game passively, while some nobody from the SEC puts in his bid to make the hits of the week segment on SportsCenter.
All right, the umpire probably didn’t take down Garcia on purpose. Alternate camera angles clearly show that he was trying to avoid onrushing LSU linebackers, and was faked out by Garcia’s moves - the forearm was just to cushion the inevitable collision. But if thinking that there’s some grand conspiracy penetrating the highest levels of the NCAA, and that the dark alliance is constantly plotting against South Carolina, if thinking that raises Steve Spurrier’s blood pressure, I say we all just go with the story.