I was reading a thread elsewhere about Hog games that had notoriously affected by bad calls, and there was quite a bit of chatter about the 2009 Florida game - and with good reason! We all remember the multiple bogus calls that literally cost us that game.
That reminded me of one call in the game that - ultimately - did go (correctly) our way . . . but not until after much unnecessary consternation.
In the 3rd quarter, with the tie scored at 13, we faced a third and long (17) from our own 25. Mallet dropped back, and then hit Greg Childs streaking down the right sideline around midfield. Childs caught the ball and zig-zagged his way across the field, finally getting tackled just as he (was about to?) cross the goal line. He fumbled, but immediately got up and covered the ball, clearly before it went out of the back of the EZ. Touchdown Arkansas - right?
Well, for unknown reasons, the play flummoxed the officials, who reviewed it for almost 4 minutes before deciding that the TD call was correct. In the meantime, CBS showed the replay multiple times. Gary Danielson focused on the fumble, and whether it occurred before or after Childs had crossed the plane of the goal line. That’s bad enough, since it was irrelevant; Childs went on to recover the fumble (if there was one - that is, if he hadn’t been ruled to have already crossed the line, after which the play is dead). So, EVEN IF HE DID FUMBLE BEFORE HE GOT IT IN, it was still a TD.
But poor Verne Lundquist took the cake on this one. While Danielson’s comments were at least somewhat understandable (Childs did lose the ball as he was crossing the goal), Verne wondered “if they would rule it an incomplete pass”. In what universe does someone catch the ball, run with it for 40-50 yards, and then be ruled to have not caught the ball if he fumbles when hit? The answer is no KNOWN universe.
I had remembered that this moment was caught in classic form by an Arkansas family who - by random chance - had decided to record the father of the household watching his Razorbacks play. When I watch this, I identify so closely with this guy. I vividly remember watching the game on TV myself, and I was yelling almost the exact same things at the screen during the “review”.