January 02, 2013

Clowney's monster hit sparks Gamecocks' Outback Bowl win: After Michigan's Floyd Simmons gained not-quite-four yards on a fourth-and-four play in the fourth quarter of the Outback Bowl, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier watched as referee Jeff Maconaghy awarded a first down in spite of the fact that the nose of the ball didn't reach the first-down marker. Spurrier asked a nearby official for an explanation. Spurrier's memory of the exchange goes like this:

Spurrier: "You know the ball did not touch the first-down marker?"

Official: "I know it didn't."

Spurrier: "Well, why'd he give it to 'em?"

Official: "I don't know."

Michigan took the field for its first-down play. Quarterback Devin Gardner handed off to Vincent Smith. Then...


posted by gfinsf to football at 05:44 AM - 14 comments

The official that gave Michigan a first down on that measurement must be either a Michigan alumni or incompetent or maybe both. On the other hand. Clowney is probably the best college football player in the country.

posted by jm_mosier at 06:44 AM on January 02, 2013

I am so glad that Saban didn't get him. That just wouldn't have been fair.

posted by beaverboard at 08:19 AM on January 02, 2013

That would explain the tremor I felt yesterday.

posted by grum@work at 09:36 AM on January 02, 2013

Not looking forward to facing Clowney next year. Dude is a beast.

posted by jmd82 at 11:25 AM on January 02, 2013

I'm just glad the kid picked up the football and not Smith's head that was rolling around in the backfield. And Michigan still sucks!!!

posted by phaedon at 11:29 AM on January 02, 2013

I always find it amusing that the entire sport of football collectively believes that not only can referred determine where balls should be spotted to the centimeter, but that they can do it three times in a row, to the point that we should believe any chain-requiring measurement as The Truth. The refs should have the leeway to make the call visually, and if one is consistently obviously wrong, then fire his ass.

Also, as much as I love Steve Spurrier's continued presence in college football, I don't believe his version of the conversation for a second.

All that said, that was not a first down, and even as a Michigan grad, I'm almost glad Clowney got that fumble. If he'd done it before the Heisman balloting, he might have been invited to New York.

posted by Etrigan at 11:30 AM on January 02, 2013

Seen, played and coached a lotta ball, and it takes quite a bit for me to lean back and say, "Oh my God."

Oh. My. God.

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:46 PM on January 02, 2013

From that SI piece:

At some point between the hit and Ellington's catch for the win, someone pulled Clowney aside on the sideline, pulled out a smartphone and showed him footage of the clip on YouTube. "Somebody just said, 'Make a big play,'" Clowney said. "It just came to me."
Ah, technology. I'm only surprised it didn't show up on the USGS tremor reports.

posted by etagloh at 01:12 PM on January 02, 2013

Watching it a few more times, I'm not even sure the running back had the ball in his hands when he got blown up.

Poor son of a gun.

posted by grum@work at 03:22 PM on January 02, 2013

"Somebody just said, 'Make a big play,'" Clowney said. "It just came to me."

I wonder why no one had suggested to him earlier in his career to tackle the guy with the ball, force a fumble and recover it.

posted by Etrigan at 03:45 PM on January 02, 2013

If you look closely, you'll notice he knocks the pacifier right out of Smith's mouth.

posted by phaedon at 05:17 PM on January 02, 2013

While the hit is incredible, I was also amazed that he recovered the fumble with one hand.

posted by holden at 06:03 PM on January 02, 2013

There needs to be slower slow motion. That speed is too fast for me to process.

posted by rcade at 11:26 PM on January 03, 2013

Good thing he didn't tackle Denard. There would still be a pair of cleats embedded in the turf at the 35.

posted by beaverboard at 08:15 AM on January 04, 2013

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