Headscratchers: NC State 20 FSU 15

Occassionally, Statefansnation will run some reviews of what we consider to be headscratching calls from NC State games.

I can understand some people thinking that this feature may be nitpicking (since we won the game) and some will think it is inconsequential (because we won the game). But, why does a team have to LOSE the game to make any difference as to the accuracy of the calls? Additionally, others will think that discussing this type of stuff after a loss would be even more of a “whine”. So, the best way to deal with this is to be consistent and focus only on the ‘micro’ of the individual plays irregardless of the overall outcome of the games.

We’re not looking to necessarily highlight EVERY ‘headscratcher’ from Wolfpack games, but sometimes certain calls/non-calls require a little extra focus (especially when the incompetence of your conference’s officials has recently been brought to the attention of the nation.)

For the most part, we thought that Saturday’s 20-15 win in Tallahassee was well officiated. I was not as familiar with this officiating crew as one of the conferences normal keystone cops…so, maybe we will see more of this crew in the future based on an overall decent performance.

But, nobody is perfect; and these guys made a couple of pretty bad blunders on Saturday that have caused us to scratch our heads:

(1) FSU touchdown call / Replay Review / Spot of ball at the 3 yard line
In the first half of Saturday’s game, FSU running back A. Smith ran out of bounds just inside the 5 yard line with his left foot. His right foot then came down far out of bounds at the 3 yard line as he then dove for the end zone. How did the refs screw this up? Let me count the ways.

First, the officials on the field gave Smith a touchdown after both of his feet had clearly landed out of bounds prior to his lunge for the end zone. That was bad enough…but thank goodness that we have instant replay! Right? Not necessarily.

After review in the booth, the replay officials correctly voided the touchdown, but then gave Florida State the ball on the NC State 3 yard line, despite the fact that Smith was obviously out of bounds at the 5 yard line. Click here for the picture and ponder with us how this merits a spot at the 3 yard line?

(2) No penalty: FSU’s AJ Nicholson uppercuts NC State’s Quarterback to the head:
With 9:06 remaining in the 3rd quarter, NC State’s Marcus Stone (QB) and FSU’s AJ Nicholson (LB) punished each other as Stone was racing for the sidelines. Stone got the better of the situation and embarassed Nicholson, a linebacker, on the hit. After the hit, the two stood toe to toe and obviously had words for each other. In response to the words Nicholson chose to deliver a shot to Stone’s face/head directly in front of an official and was not flagged for a penalty.

(a) Stone & Nicholson just before blow to the face: click here

(b) Nicholson’s post-play uppercut to the head of NC State’s quarterback: click here

Can you imagine the amount of flags that would have been thrown if an “undisciplined” NC State player had blatantly struck an opposing quarterback in the head more than 10 seconds after a play had ended?

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14 Responses to Headscratchers: NC State 20 FSU 15

  1. Wilson 11/07/2005 at 9:14 AM #

    Dude……We Won! Things happen…get over it. Love the site!

  2. Rick Jernigan 11/07/2005 at 9:46 AM #

    Heck, I’m still not over it and this is exactly the kind of information I love from this site. The dude punched our quarterback in plain site of everyone! I do have a rules question concerning when a player steps out of bounds – Is the ball suppose to be mark where they stepped out (this is what I think) or is it marked where the football is located when they stepped out. If its the latter, the ball would have been properly marked at the four, not the three. Equally irritating was Tim Brandt continually looking at the replay and not acknowledging that he stepped out just inside the 5 yard line.

  3. Jeff 11/07/2005 at 10:18 AM #

    I can understand some people thinking that this comes across as whining and it is inconsequential because we won the game. But, why does a team have to LOSE the game to make any difference as to the accuracy of the calls? And, some people consider discussing this type of stuff after a loss to be even more of a whine. So, the best way to deal with this is to be consistent and focus only on the ‘micro’ of the individual plays irregardless of the overall outcome of the game.

    Additionally, I completely held off on criticizing the announcers because that could have taken all day. They were HORRIBLE when it came to accuracy issues. HORRIBLE. In fact, the kickoff of Saturday’s game was between “Florida” and “NC”. Bet that came as a surprise to you.

  4. Trout 11/07/2005 at 10:24 AM #

    ^ Agree on the announcers, especially the play by play dude. Tim Brandt, I have never cared for, but he was okay. The play by play guy made mistakes one after another. He made at least 15-20 incorrect down and distance calls, some of them almost comical in the magnitude of their error.

    Tim Brandt did call Andre Brown “Alfonso” Brown. :)

  5. Jeff 11/07/2005 at 10:58 AM #

    The play by play guy was talking about bringing out the chains to measure a 3rd down an 11!!!!! He was HORRIBLE!!!!

    Brandt called Marcus Stone a freshman…and kept referring to Andre Brown as the “NC HS Player of the year”. Although that was technically true TWO years ago, Brandt said it after making a point that Brown was a first year freshman…and sounded as though it was last year’s award (when it was Toney Baker). In the 2nd half, they ironed out some of that and let the world know that Andre was at Hargrave last year.

  6. Haredogg 11/07/2005 at 11:47 AM #

    Stone lit up Nicholson and Nicholson had to do something to look cool, he chose to take a quick jab, which the refs chose to ignore. That was complete garbage.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing a video of that play, because Stone laid the wood to the “greatest LB in the history of evar!” and that looked down on top of him, like “yeah, that’s right”.

    I counted atleast 10 times that I told my wife, “These announcers are horrible”.

    Appearantly the word ‘sack’ can also be used when a RB is tackled for a loss now.

  7. E 11/07/2005 at 2:21 PM #

    I’m doing my Ph.D. at UF and thanks to a colleague my wife and I made the trip from Gainesville to Tallahassee. (I imagine I was one of the most hated NCSU fans, being from Gainesville.)

    I have to agree on the out of bounds call. It was HORRIBLE. It really is no big deal, unless the play happened late in the 4th. Even FSU fans behind me knew the guy was out of bounds around the 5 (mind you we were on the 76/77th row around the opposite 40 yd. line).

    The humor was that initially there was no call. FSU replayed a sideline camera angle of the play that didn’t show where his feet were, but looked like it could have been a touchdown. The referees signal a touchdown. Then FSU replays an almost identical camera angle that shows his foot was out of bounds at the 5. After a few minutes the referees finally overturned the call.

    Definitely worth the trip.

  8. Fletch 11/07/2005 at 3:18 PM #

    Also, can our radio guys quit using the term “Wacked down” when one of our players is tackled? Doesn’t wacking involve a bat or stick or pipe or something? Pet peeve of mine.

  9. Trout 11/07/2005 at 3:49 PM #

    “The play by play guy was talking about bringing out the chains to measure a 3rd down an 11!!!!! He was HORRIBLE!!!!”

    That was one of the those comical comments. He had several of those!

  10. Charles 11/08/2005 at 9:51 AM #

    At least Brant did not go on and on and on about Maryland. He’s such a big UMD alum I call him “Homer Simpson” — and he’s about as smart.

    The refs gave FSU the home call all day. But then again, do you expect any better from ACC refs?

  11. Charles 11/08/2005 at 9:53 AM #

    And oh yeah, you guys are 100% correct about the Nicholson punch. The refs had to see that (they were right there) and just did not have the *cajones* to toss Nicholson.

    Actually, I am sort of glad that they didn’t. If Nicholson gets the boot, that might have sparked FSU.

  12. kevin 11/08/2005 at 12:37 PM #

    On the spot call… foot was out at the 5 but ball was at the 4. Regardless, it should not have been the 3!!
    Anyway.. what about our defense holding them at first and goal for 7 plays!!!

    On AJ.. I thought he game Marcus a good natured slap. Us Pack fans are overly sensitive (rightly so) to these issues. I had no problem with that part.

  13. smokey 11/08/2005 at 4:28 PM #

    Got to say that I didn’t notice anything after the Nicholson-Stone punch after the play ended. Seemed that both guys got up and jawed off a little, before going back to the huddle. That didn’t bother me so much. Calling a guy, who’s clearly out of bounds, as having scored is pathetic. If not for instant replay that’d have cost us the game.

  14. Jeff 11/10/2005 at 9:03 AM #

    “If not for instant replay that’d have cost us the game.”

    That is a GREAT point.

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