FOX Sports Exclusive
Turner denies running clock talk
The quote of the day, and perhaps the nearest explanation anybody can come up with for what happened Saturday between Louisville and Florida International comes from Louisville coach Charlie Strong.
#UofL coach Charlie Strong: "I don't think so much it was a running clock. We just said, 'Keep the clock running.'"— Jonathan Lintner (@JonathanLintner) September 21, 2013
So that oughta clear everything up.
Just the facts, ma’am: Louisville beat FIU 72-0 and Florida International finished the game with 30 offensive yards. It got so bad, according to ESPN, that in the third quarter Panthers coach Ron Turner asked for a running clock, Strong agreed to it and the clock would keep running even after out-of-bounds plays.
Turner denies this.
Again, FIU coach Ron Turner: "I did not" request a running clock against #UofL.— Jonathan Lintner (@JonathanLintner) September 21, 2013
Turner told reporters he has requested a running clock before, but did not do it in this case. Further, he said game officials didn’t say anything to him about a running clock and that he didn’t know where ESPN got that information.
That is in direct contradiction to Strong’s version of events.
WOW. Charlie Strong says #UofL and FIU coaches did talk about a running clock. Ron Turner totally denied it.— Jonathan Lintner (@JonathanLintner) September 21, 2013
So what we have here is a he-said, he-said situation. According to the rules, a running clock is not an option in college football. Coaches can agree to shorten a period before it begins, but once it starts it is supposed to be played out according to the normal timing procedures.
Strong characterized what happened Saturday as something other than a true running clock, and there was some accuracy to that. The clock did not simply run continuously until it hit all zeroes, but it did keep running at times it shouldn’t have.
#FIU the clock, however, definitely kept running on some out of bounds plays in the third quarter.— David Neal (@DavidJNeal) September 21, 2013
This statement from Gerald Austin, C-USA Coordinator of Officials, might bring some clarity to the whole situation:
“Coach Turner made a comment to one of the officials that, given the amount of injuries and the limited numbers of players he had available, he wanted to run the ball in the second half. One official misinterpreted that comment. Coach Turner, at no time requested that the clock run. FIU threw just one pass in the second half.
After reviewing the tape there were five times that the clock should have been stopped and it did not. Four times were on first down and one play where the runner went out of bounds, based on a quick review of the video.”
Even with this, it could be a while before this gets fully sorted out, but this may be a game better off forgotten.
More Stories From Tully Corcoran