For everything that the Missouri Tigers did right against Kentucky, there were times when things were simply out of their control.
I’m sure many of us can recall at least one point in last night’s game, when the officiating crew missed calls that would have helped Missouri’s cause, at least a little bit.
There’s an oft-used phrase, among coaches especially, that comes to mind. “We can’t rely on officiating to win a game.” Such was the case for the Tigers against Kentucky.
Missouri found itself down by 10 to start the game, but lead the Wildcats by four at halftime. In the second half, the Tigers played a solid game of cat and mouse with Kentucky, tying the game twice, before losing in the closing seconds of the game.
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The loss, while not overly surprising, may have been avoided, but for a calamity of errors that left Mizzou with three seconds to cover about 30 yards for a game-winning touchdown.
It all started with a quick pass to wide receiver J’Mon Moore, who made the catch, but wasn’t able to get out of bounds. Moore then got up, and began running back to the line of scrimmage, with the ball, when a Kentucky defender popped the ball out of Moore’s arm, which should have drawn a 15-yard, delay of game penalty.
On the other hand, head coach Barry Odom should have kept at least one time out, in the event of something like this happening. In a perfect scenario, the officiating crew would have seen the foul committed by Kentucky, and Odom shouldn’t have to save a timeout for an error in officiating.
In a statement given to Gabe DeArmond of PowerMizzou.com, the SEC stated that had the official seen the foul, that the clock would have been stopped at the 16-second mark, and presumably, a penalty would have been levied against Kentucky.
"After postgame video review and discussion with the on-field officials, it was determined the officials did not see the ball dislodged by an opposing player as the Missouri receiver attempted to return the ball directly to the official. Had that action been seen by the officials in real time, the clock would have been stopped at approximately 0:16 seconds and restarted on the ready for play signal."
When the dust settled, of course it looked like some kind of grand conspiracy had taken place against Missouri, but at the end of the day, mistakes happen. Had it been against Kentucky, I’m sure Wildcats fans would have been outraged, also. Unfortunately, this was a case that the Tigers had no control over.