Last week against the Miami Hurricanes, wide receiver Laron Byrd was leveled by Florida State's Nigel Bradham with minutes left in the game. The referees immediately and wrongly ejected Bradham after the hit.
On the ABC broadcast, you can see the progression of the announcers realizing this horrible call. There is no doubt the hit was sudden and violent, as Byrd can be seen flying through the air like a rag doll, but at no point does #13 Bradham use anything more than his shoulder to tackle, nor does he leave the ground.
"He didn't launch, didn't leave his feet, hit below the shoulder, hit with the shoulder," coach Jimbo Fisher said Monday. "Everything football." Even Miami coach Al Golden had to agree, confirming it was a legal hit to many media outlets. Thankfully, the ACC agrees as well and Bradham will be allowed to play the Seminoles' final home game, and as a senior - the last home game of his career, despite the ejection. (Read the statement from the conference here.)
Justice is served on that play, but nothing can undo the travesty that was called "officiating" in last week's game. Our Seminole affiliate Tomahawk Nation was able to compile a 17 minute video of blown calls by the ACC refs against Florida State alone.
Watch the first minute of this video, when Miami receiver Allen Hurns catches the football, takes multiple steps, and fumbles on the first play from scrimmage as FSU's Mike Harris strips the ball - allowing free safety Lemarcus Joyner to return the ball for a would-be touchdown. The Refs somehow overturned the call, and the ABC announcers are stunned at the lack of evidence to do so after the four-minute review.
"I think both hands were on the ball, both feet were on the ground and he turned to take a step to make a football move and the ball was dislodged by us not by any bobbling of them," Fisher said. "If that's not a catch I've been wrong for 46 years."
There was also this inexplicable safety called as E.J. Manuel made a pass from the one yard line, then was pulled backwards into the endzone. The Refs awarded Miami two points, despite the fact Manuel had forward progress to the one and made the pass attempt with his feet outside the endzone. Watch the video, and see that E.J. has his feet firmly planted on the one-half-yard line, throws the ball, then is tackled into the endzone.
(If the video loads at the beginning, skip ahead to 7:34 for the replay)
After review the call remained a safety... temporarily. After the most fervent arguing I've ever seen from Jimbo, the call came from above - either from an angel or the ACC commissioner (who was at the game), I'm not sure - and the ref was informed he misinterpreted the rule. Manuel's feet on the one-yard line as he passes the ball was indeed not a safety.
Maybe ACC officials are underpaid, or undertrained, or just had a bad day. Any way you slice it, last week's officiating was unacceptable. Thankfully, the Noles still won and will have Bradham back next week.
(All videos via noleknight9399)