The Clemson Insider has learned the Atlantic Coast Conference will not discipline the officiating crew that missed a key call in last Saturday’s Clemson at Boston College game.
Referee Tra Blake and his crew botched a call during the second-ranked Tigers’ 27-7 win over No. 20 BC.
The call in question was Amari Rodgers’ muffed punt with 4:40 to play in the second quarter. At the time, Clemson was clinging to a six-point lead and it gave the Eagles the football on the Tigers’ 42-yard line.
Boston College defensive back Taj-Amir Torres ran into Rodgers as he was attempting to fair catch the football. The ball first bounced off Torres and then Rodgers. Torres recovered the ball, while Rodgers looked around for a flag for catch-interference. But the side judge never threw it and BC was awarded the football.
It was clear on ABC’s television replay the officials missed the call.
Following Wednesday’s practice, TCI asked Swinney if he reported the botched call to the ACC.
“I’m not at liberty to share the response, but I will say this, Mr. (Dennis) Hennigan has a high level of accountability and he does a good job of trying to get better every week just like we do,” Swinney said. “People make mistakes. We see them, and we own them.”
Swinney did say he turned the call in for Hennigan, who oversees ACC officials, to review. The ACC had no official word on the matter and said all officials are graded each week on their performance and at the end of the year they all come up for review.
“They want us to turn things in, but as far as our conversation about it, I will keep those private,” Swinney said.
Swinney hopes the rules committee will use what happened in their game with BC and figure out a way to make a play such as fair-catch interference to be reviewable in the future.
Luckily for Clemson, its defense came out and made a stop and got the ball back for its offense. However, the Tigers still had to burn a timeout, so Swinney could argue the call and try to get it reversed.
“If that’s not reviewable then we cannot miss that call. It is like … that is a game-changing deal in front of everybody,” he said. “I would love for that to be reviewable. Catch interference on a punt return like that.
“I’m not talking about pass interference or anything like that, I’m talking about kick-catch interference. That is a game-changing deal. I would love for that to be reviewable. I don’t know how often that happens. It is probably one of those things that is pretty rare, so I don’t think you will have a bunch of reviewable situations. But, from time to time you have something like the other night that would have really helped us. I would have been able to keep my timeout.”
Hyatt wearing a yellow jersey. Clemson left tackle Mitch Hyatt was wearing a yellow jersey in Wednesday’s practice. Yellow means the All-American could not participate any drills.
Swinney said earlier this week Hyatt had a stinger in last week’s win over Boston College. He was injured in the second quarter, came back in the third quarter before finally leaving the game for good on the third play of the second drive in the third quarter.
Swinney said on Wednesday Hyatt is doing well and that he will play in Saturday’s game against Duke.
Others that were limited in practice. Clemson running back Travis Etienne was wearing a green jersey in Wednesday’s practice, as was right guard Sean Pollard. A green jersey means a player can participate in individual drills, but they cannot go through contact drills such as good-on-good.
Because they are both wearing green, they are both likely to play in Saturday’s game.
Who else will be honored on Senior Day? Swinney said defensive end Clelin Ferrell will be honored with the seniors this Saturday as part of the Senior Day festivities.
“You have to be at least a fourth-year guy, or you are graduating in December if you are a three-year guy like Deshaun (Watson) was,” Swinney said.
Ferrell is a redshirt junior (a fourth-year player).
Swinney said long snapper Austin Spence will also be recognized on Saturday as well as reserve safety Kyle Cote. Both have already graduated.