Mike Pereira analyzes Week 12 calls

Nothing like a little home cooking in the Deep South.

You’ve got your fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, black-eyed peas … and your scoreboard clock time operator at the Georgia-Auburn game.

Here was the situation: Georgia was playing at Auburn. Georgia had the ball, first-and 10 at the Auburn 20-yard line with six seconds left before halftime. Auburn led 27-7. Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray attempted a pass to Chris Conley that fell incomplete. There was clearly time left on the clock when the ball hit the ground, but the clock kept going until it ran out.

Enter the replay official.

A seldom used replay rule came into effect, which allows the replay official to stop the game when the clock has expired at the end of any quarter. He can then put time back on the clock if, in fact, an action like this incomplete pass created a dead clock.

The ball clearly hit the ground when there were two seconds left. Another second ticked off and then there was unnatural pause at the one-second mark, and then the clock started again and went to zero.

The replay official notified the referee to put time back on the clock and two seconds were added. Marshall Morgan then kicked a 37-yard field goal to cut the score to 27-10 at the half.

It’s a good safety net in both the college and professional games that when the clock strikes zero when it clearly should have been stopped, that the replay official has the ability to get involved.

In college, the replay official has the ability to do that in all four quarters, while in the NFL, it’s only at the end of the second and fourth quarters.

All I — and Georgia in this case — can say about that is it’s, um, good they have this rule in place.


"It’s better to give than to receive."

Now I’m not saying that famous phrase is wrong, but the skill of the young men who are catching passes these days in college football certainly might change some minds.

There were several unbelievable catches Saturday during Week 12. These three, all touchdowns, really stood out.

Georgia-Auburn: Can you say, miracle? Auburn was facing a fourth-and-18 from its own 27-yard line, trailing 38-37 with only 25 seconds to play when Ricardo Louis caught a deflected 73-yard prayer from Nick Marshall to give the Tigers an amazing, come-from-behind 43-38 victory. Louis, who was being covered by two Georgia defenders, caught the ball in stride after the ball bounced off of safety Tray Matthews. 

Central Florida-Temple: UCF’s J.J. Worton gets the honors here. The Knights trailed 36-29 with just over a minute left in the game when Worton caught a one-handed, 30-yard pass from Blake Bortles to tie the game. UCF ended up winning 39-36.

Texas Tech-Baylor: Both teams were scoring so much in this game, I’m surprised the scoreboard didn’t break. The catch I want to focus on here happened late in the first quarter. Texas Tech had the ball third-and-goal at the Baylor 5-yard line. The Red Raiders led 14-7. Texas Tech quarterback lobbed a ball toward the back of the end zone and Eric Ward grabbed it with one hand as he was falling out of bounds.

This catch is tied to the ruling at the sideline in the end zone, when Ward’s rear end hit first. The ball did move a bit in his possession as he rolled out of bounds, but his right hand was solidly on the ball. Even if the ball had touched the ground as it moved a bit, the fact that he didn’t lose possession and he had possession first before he hit the ground, makes this a catch.

I have to think that Baylor coach Art Briles took a time out and was thinking about challenging the ruling of a touchdown, but in that interim time before the referee got to them, the coaches must have seen a conclusive replay that convinced Baylor not to challenge.

To me, it was a tight play that was ruled correctly on the field on a day that saw spectacular catches — all of which shows how great college football can be and how skilled some of the receivers and quarterbacks are.

For one day, anyway, it certainly seemed like it might have been better to receive.