Dabo Swinney has been a part of many penalties, booth reviews and other crazy things that happen in college football. He has been on both sides of the spectrum as a player and as a coach. Some have gone his teams’ way, and some have not. That is just the nature of the game.
However, one thing Swinney has never been a part of happened in the first overtime of Clemson’s double-overtime loss to Notre Dame this past Saturday in South Bend. On the first play of the first overtime, quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei hit receiver Cornell Powell on a post. The senior turned the ball up field and broke a couple of tackles on his way to scoring what appeared to be the go-ahead touchdown.
But before B.T. Potter could kick the extra point, replay officials called down to the field and stopped the action while the replay booth reviewed the touchdown. They eventually told referee Jeff Heaser the play could stand as called, which Heaser communicated to everyone inside Notre Dame Stadium and at a home.
With the replay complete, Potter lined up for the extra point, again. Then, replay buzzed down to the field again to stop play so they could review the Powell touchdown a second time.
“The only thing I had never been a part of on both sides, never have been a part of in my life, is when they review something and come out and say it stands and then they review the review,” Swinney said Monday.
The Clemson bench stood in shock. They did not know what to do or how to react when the second review came down.
“They go, ‘Oh, we really didn’t mean it. We are going to review it again.’ I have never been a part of that,” Swinney said. “That was a first. I don’t know if that has ever happened, to be honest with you.”
The second review came back down and this time Heaser announced Powell was down by contact just inches from the goal line. On the next play, Uiagalelei snuck in for the touchdown. And though replay reviewed his touchdown, too, the play ultimately stood as it was called on the field and Clemson took a brief, 40-33, lead at the time.
“So that was a little unusual, but we got through it,” Swinney said.
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