End of USC-Utah Game Fraught With Officiating Controversy, Confusion Over Final Score

Not everyone is fanatical when it comes to college football. The reasons for that are beyond me, since the sheer number of games each week, the range of different offenses and defenses and the weekly contrasts of those styles make the college game way more intriguing than its pro counterpart, in my opinion.

I digress…

Of all the reasons to love college football, there's also the controversy. Hardly a week goes by without a half-dozen beefs with officiating calls, most often yelled by fans that are already half in the barrel. It's Jerry Springer-type entertainment, only with pigskin.

While most of the nation was preoccupied with the crazy ending at Michigan Stadium, there was another ending that was almost as wacky. Utah's first Pac-12 conference game came down to the wire against Southern California, and when it all ended, even the final score was in doubt.

Trailing 17-14 with less than a minute remaining, Utah had fourth down and 10. Quarterback Jordan Wynn completed a pass to Devonte Christopher, who appeared to have the first down by a half-yard. But the officials spotted the ball short of the marker, handing the ball back to USC and effectively ending the game — momentarily.

A replay review respotted the ball and gave Utah the first down. Despite hooting and hollering from Trojans fans at the L.A. Coliseum, the controversial call was the right one, but it wasn't the last one.

After a pass interference penalty on USC — again, the correct call — Utah lined up for a tying field goal. But USC's Matt Kalil skied for the block, USC returned the kick for a touchdown and a 23-14 win, and USC celebrated, as did bettors who took the Trojans, favored by 7 1/2 points.

Hold on. A penalty flag against the Trojans sideline for running into the field nixed the TD and stifled the celebration, and the final score reverted to 17-14 Trojans. Some bettors probably threw things at their TV sets. Game stories were printed with the 17-14 final score. (See the second paragraph.)

Hold on again. Pac-12 officials later reviewed the final play and declared, again, that the final score was 23-14. Order was restored, kind of. But the temporary 17-14 score led at least one sports book to lose out when it paid bettors who had taken Utah to cover.

Yeah, it was sort of a mess.

Of all the crazy endings on Saturday, this was the craziest: A crazy ending with most of the drama taking place after the clock read 0:00.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

One thing that's not in dispute: USC is 2-0.

End of USC-Utah Game Fraught With Officiating Controversy, Confusion Over Final Score

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"We play to win."
— Michigan football coach Brady Hoke after foregoing a game-tying field goal attempt for a game-winning touchdown pass with two seconds remaining against Notre Dame.

TWEET OF THE DAY

Learn more about UConn product Walt Dropo at baseballreference.com.

End of USC-Utah Game Fraught With Officiating Controversy, Confusion Over Final Score

VIDEO OF THE DAY

Remember what it was like when sports resumed after 9/11?

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