South Carolina's 17-13 win over Vanderbilt in the season opener didn't come without controversy from the officiating crew.
Facing a 4th and 7 on their own 38-yard line with less than two minutes left, Commodores quarterback Jordan Rodgers launched a deep pass to Jordan Matthews. The Vanderbilt wideout had beaten defender D.J. Swearinger down the right sideline, but the ball appeared to hit Matthews' hands and fall to the ground. No flags. South Carolina ball.
The ESPN announcers began praising the South Carolina defense, until they saw the replay and watched Swearinger pull on Matthews' arm before the ball got there.
"That would be the definition of pass interference," said analyst David Pollack. "You thought he may have held it long enough but you can't reach out. Remember you can face guard in college. But you can't reach out and grab an arm. That is blatant pass interference."
The ESPN announcers weren't the only ones who noticed the obvious missed-call.
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The no-call didn't end the game and a call wouldn't have definitely altered the outcome but the penalty would have given Vanderbilt 15 more yards and a fresh set of downs. The Commodores had another chance to get the ball back late, but failed to stop South Carolina from getting a first down on 3rd and 5 with 1:35 left in regulation.
Vanderbilt coach James Franklin was asked about the controversial no-call, but decided not to comment on it.
"You did know the SEC just came out with very clear rules about talking about the officials and what happens after games?" he said. "You're trying to get me fined."
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