Bizarre officiating on fourth down leads to Southern’s loss against TSU

Jaguar Nation

ARLINGTON, Tx. ( – “That was a first,” Southern Interim Head Coach Jason Rollins said.

“Nah, that was a first for me,” Texas Southern Head Coach Clarence McKinney unknowingly agreed.

The Jaguars racked up 529 total yards of offense, but Southern’s fate came down to 12 inches. The Gold and Blue attempted to convert a 4th-and-1, and the officials ruled quarterback Glendon McDaniel was short on the run. The officiating after the initial call was new for both sidelines.

“It was reviewed once for the spot but without a measurement so I asked for a measurement. They measured it, and they said first down. Then, they went to review it again and said that the spot wasn’t correct so they reviewed it for another spot. It was reviewed twice,” Rollins said.

To simplify the event as a human best can, Rollins challenged the ruling and requested a measurement. After the chain gang measured the spot, the referees gave Southern a first down. However, McKinney challenged the challenge.

After a second review, the head official said the ball was “moved” forward incorrectly, during the first review, and Southern’s actual spot was a foot short of the first down. Texas Southern took over and scored its fifth touchdown of the game to retake the lead with 59 seconds left.

If you ask, “why go for it on fourth down?” The Jags were facing an ultimatum: try to gain one yard near midfield to win the game or punt the ball back to an offense which finished with 576 total yards (338 passing).

“I felt really confident in our offensive line. We rushed for 322 yards so I felt we can get one yard to ice the game. It’s debatable whether we got that or not, but at the end of the day, we didn’t. I’ll make that call again,” Rollins firmly stated.

However, football has three elements: offense, defense and special teams. The Jags did not play complementary football to help the offense. The aforementioned defensive struggles were part of the loss, but freshman kicker Luke Jackson missed two field goals.

“We all could’ve made plays. It’s a whole bunch of “should’ve, could’ve, would’ves”, but it didn’t happen. It’s a team sport. Defense could’ve made a extra play. Special teams could’ve made a extra play that could’ve put us in a better position,” wide receiver Marquis McClain said.

Southern lost 35-31.

The Jags loss snapped a 9-game win streak, and Southern has officially started SWAC West play 0-1. The schedule gets tougher with a road trip to Arkansas-Pine Bluff next week.

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