Georgia Football: Mark Richt asking for review by SEC on two key plays


It’s hard to find any game in any sport which doesn’t have some sort of controversial call involving the officials, but this past week’s Georgia football game against South Carolina had more than its share, and Mark Richt wants some answers.

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According to the Athens Banner-Herald, coach Richt is sending tapes of two particular plays to the SEC offices for review, asking for clarification on the calls made by the officials.

The first play was a Todd Gurley 54-yard touchdown run during the first half which was called back to due a holding penalty on Georgia offensive lineman Brandon Kublanow. The other play game late int the game, when the Bulldogs had the ball on the South Carolina 8-yard line, and quarterback Hutson Mason was flagged for intentional grounding.

Both calls were viewed as questionable, with the intentional grounding call bringing the greatest amount of scrutiny among fans.

During his Sunday teleconference, Richt commented on the two plays and what his intentions were in sending tapes to the league offices.

"“On that particular play, we thought Kublanow was in the framework of the defender. We thought it was legal. What happened was, I don’t remember if it was one of his teammates or one of our guys, but somebody actually kind of clipped the back of the defender’s leg as they were running through there. It might have been a back running a route, I don’t know what happened, but he kind of got tripped up and it looked like Kublanow kind of grabbed him and swung him to the ground but in reality, he got tripped up by someone behind him so it may as appeared as if it was kind of a takedown. I really don’t think it was. We’ll turn it and see what they think after reviewing.”"

Richt sends tapes to the SEC offices for review every week, and the purpose isn’t to have calls overturned or to file a protest, but to have clarification from the league on whether or not the calls were made correctly and why.

"“I think it’s helpful to hear it and I also think it’s good for them to keep training up their officials on a weekly basis. Just like they’re trying to get better, we’re trying to get better, too.”"

The game, eventually won by the Gamecocks, should have never come down to a couple of controversial calls, but receiving clarification as well as possibly having the officials reprimanded or disciplined should they have been in the wrong would take a little of the sting out of it.

The play involving Mason was particularly troublesome because the intentional grounding call should have been negated by the fact that the ball was touched by a defender while in the air. Once a ball is tipped, all bets are off, so to speak.

"“I’m going to be asking the officials what the ruling is on that. I don’t know if they saw it while it happened or not. As it deflected off the defender, it certainly looked like there was no one in the area where the ball landed, I know that. If the ball didn’t get hit by the defender it would have landed a lot closer to one of our eligible receivers.”"

This isn’t sour grapes by the Bulldogs or Mark Richt, but rather judicious use of the review process to make sure that coaches and officials are all on the same page.