PLEASE tell me where the heck this came from when the REF stops the play after we had just started to run a play the ball is in play and no sign of any review going on until the ref says "Oh I just got buzzed" as he was gesturing at his "buzzer" and that is when it was called "NO PLAY" and the 12 seonds were added back to the clock, this ref team looked like the keystone cops, the whole end of that game was laughable because when Tennessee F"ed UP when ther were only 85 or 90 seconds left and HAD THE BALL and turn around and GIVE the DAMN refs an opening to not let NC lose this game was just about too much to watch, and what is up with LINCOLN? Are we trying to find another kicker that maybe fits the mold of FUAD, JEFF, WILHOIT or the Barefoot kicker what was hgis name? I hope so. GO VOLS
What must Kansas State fans have thought?
If any Wildcat faithful had stayed tuned into ESPN after their own team was jobbed with a letter-of-the-law, Barney Fife-ish, ticky-tack call in the Pinstripe Bowl, they must’ve been sickened by what they saw.
First, the Pinstripe Fiasco: K-State receiver Adrian Hillborn scored on a 30-yard touchdown catch-and-run with little more than a minute to play. When he reached the back of the end zone, he gave a very quick salute to the crowd. Two Big Ten officials tossed their flags over the unsportsmanlike act and the Wildcats were forced to try a game-tying two-point conversion attempt from 18 yards away. They failed. And Syracuse won.
Now we usually defend officials around here because everyone picks on them. They pick on them so much that we now have more letter-of-the-law calls being made. That’s not a good thing. Refs should be able to use their judgement as to when a foul impacts play or deserves to be penalized.
Hillborn’s short, impromptu salute did not deserve a flag.
But in the very next game — Tennessee versus North Carolina in the Music City Bowl — Vol players were running through premeditated gestures for the full sixty minutes… actually more if you include two overtime periods.
Kansas State fans had to be scratching their heads over what really constitutes unsportsmanlike conduct. ESPN’s broadcasters certainly were.
* After touchdowns (and even after some run of the mill first-down completions), quarterback Tyler Bray and his receivers did their “loco” finger roll move, something they’ve been doing after big plays for five games now. The gesture was “inspired” by a rap video.
* After a touchdown pass from Bray to Gerald Jones, both players gave saluting gestures to the crowd. Their salutes were longer than Hillborn’s, by the way.
* After a touchdown pass from Bray to Da’Rick Rogers, the freshman wideout gestured to the crowd as though he were showing off a title belt.
And yet nary a flag flew. The real oddity? Like the Kansas State game, a Big Ten officiating crew was working Tennessee’s contest.
How can a quick, unplanned salute in a game-changing moment be flagged while numerous planned celebrations throughout another game are ignored? By officials from the same league?
It seems the NCAA has a little teaching to do this offseason.
As for the Vols, while the officials didn’t punish UT for their taunts, the football gods did. After tossing an overtime touchdown pass to tie the game at 27, Bray was caught by ESPN cameras turning to the North Carolina bench and giving a two-handed throat slash gesture (photo at left).
Predictably, less than 10 minutes later Bray was teary-eyed on his own sideline after tossing an interception that wound up being a game-loser for his Vols. Hello, Karma.
For a team that finished 6-7 and never beat an FBS team with a winning record, Tennessee’s players have apparently spent quite a bit of time working on their gestures, celebrations and taunts.
Maybe next year the Vols should spend more time on boring ol’ blocking and tackling.