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November 20, 2011

SEC admits (another) VU game-ending gaffe by officials

Just moments ago, the Southeastern Conference's Coordinator of Officials, Steve Shaw, formally admitted what virtually everyone who watched the Vanderbilt-Tennessee game on TV already knew: The conference's officials had indeed blown yet another crucial end-of-game call that resulted in a VU opponent winning the game.

On the third play of overtime, VU quarterback Jordan Rodgers was intercepted by Eric Gordon while throwing a screen pass to Wesley Tate. Approximately three seconds after making the interception, the head linesman clearly whistled the play dead, and waved his hands over his head as if to indicate the position of the dead ball.

However, the game played on, and Gordon ran the distance of the field for a touchdown.

After Tennessee head coach Derrick Dooley attempted to demand a review of the play, the head of the officiating team was shown on ESPN telling Dooley that the play was not reviewable.

Yet, moments later, the same official conferred with his crew and stated that the play was under review -- and curiously, stated that the whistle had not been blown.

Upon review, the call was overturned, resulting in a 27-21 Tennessee win.

Said Shaw via Twitter:

"On the last play of the Vanderbilt-Tennessee game, in overtime, the Tennessee defender intercepted the pass, his knee did not touch the ground and he returned the interception for a touchdown.

"During the play, the head linesman incorrectly ruled that the Tennessee player's knee was down when he intercepted the pass by blowing his whistle and giving the dead ball signal.

"The play was reviewed as if there was no whistle on the field and as a result, overturned the incorrect ruling. By rule, if there was a whistle blown, the play is not reviewable."

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