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South Carolina Gamecocks Football: The no-call on two Auburn players wearing the same number is a nothing-burger

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One plus one should have equaled five. But does it matter? (Update - poll added)

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

As you have no doubt learned, on the final play of the Auburn game the Tigers had two players on the field at the same time wearing number 1 - Montravious Adams and D'Haquille Williams.  Adams is a starter on defense, while Williams is a WR who came on as a DB for the obvious Hail Mary play.

By the rule book, that violation should be an automatic 5 yard penalty.  Since a game cannot end on a defensive flag, had it been called, the Cocks would have had an untimed down to throw up another Hail Marry from the Auburn 36.

There was some talk that it might have even been a 15 yard penalty that would have moved the ball to the 26.

Yesterday, the head of SEC officials acknowledged that the crew missed the call - and it was an experimental eight man crew rather than the usual seven, which I suppose puts even a little more egg on the refs' faces.  This mistake has been widely reported in all the CFB outlets. 

Either way - 5 or 15 yards, the missed call doesn't bother me. 

Would I have liked a second crack at the Hail Mary had they called it?  Of course. 

But we got a bit of a gift penalty right before - hands to the face -  which allowed the Hail Mary chance in the waning seconds.  I can only imagine the cacophony of boos that would have rained down on the field from the Auburn faithful at Jordan-Hare Stadium, though.  That would have been fun to hear if nothing else.

Auburn's Ellis Johnson explained what happened on final play of South Carolina game. "'It doesn't affect the play,' Johnson said."  He's correct.  

In that link, check the video of Brent Musberger and Jesse Palmer discussion the two #1s issue - I don't remember them catching it during the game.  [Did anyone hear if Todd and Tommy noticed it as it happened?].

In the Sunday teleconference, Spurrier downplayed it, too.  "I don't know if Dylan would've had a better throw or we'd have a better chance at a Hail Mary," he said.  He took the philosophical view that human error and missed calls are just a part of the game.  He's right also.

Apparently the SEC only realized the error late in the evening/morning while reviewing game tape.

My thinking is that if everyone missed it at the time - players, announcers, coaches and refs - then that is only more reason not to waste a lot of effort worrying about what could have been. 

In any event, Matt Loefller's crew was lousy from the start - with blown calls and no-calls on both sides (e.g., a blatant missed holding call that should have gone against Auburn; the missed horse-collar against Brandon that would have kept a drive alive; the flagrant p.i. no-call that robbed Shaq Roland).  But I don't think the zebras were cheating for Auburn.  They just missed it.  Like a bunch of other calls.

So, all in all, it's pointless to dwell on it.  From what I can tell, most Gamecock fans aren't, which is good.

The game ended on a great play that Auburn stopped and we couldn't convert.  There was no competitive advantage to Auburn.  Dylan wasn't intercepted because there were two number 1s; Jerrell Adams's jump wouldn't have been better had Auburn not made the substitution error. 

Obviously, there is no guarantee we would have had a better throw to the endzone had we had a second bite at the apple.  Maybe we get the TD.  Spurrier has said he would have gone for 2 no matter what.  That would mean we'd have had to have made two amazing plays with no time and no timeouts.  It's just too speculative.

I'm willing to accept the outcome and move on.  Maybe another Hail Mary would have worked.  Maybe not.  But it's a human error that's just part of the game.