There were plenty of things South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier was upset about after Saturday’s 24-10 loss to Missouri, and the officiating was on the list.
“These phantom calls, my goodness. I don’t know. Maybe they are right. Maybe they are wrong,” the Gamecocks 11th-year coach said. “That’s not what beat us, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t like those phantom calls … and we’ve had our share this year.”
The call that Spurrier spent the most time discussing was a personal foul against wide receiver Matrick Belton in the first half. That flag came on the same play on which a Missouri player was flagged for a personal foul after hitting South Carolina quarterback Lorenzo Nunez out of bounds and resulted in offsetting penalties.
“When the guy dove at Lorenzo out of bounds, everybody in the stadium could see that was unsportsmanlike and then, all of a sudden, they said our guy pushed somebody,” Spurrier said. “Did anybody in the ball park see our guy push somebody? No. They said Matrick blocked a guy and he was out of bounds and he gave him a little shove.”
He was also upset about a play in the first quarter in which Missouri quarterback Drew Lock was ruled down at the 1-yard line after throwing the ball away under heavy pressure from South Carolina’s Cedrick Cooper. Spurrier believed Lock could have been called for intentional grounding in the end zone, which would have resulted in a safety for South Carolina.
“I asked him to review and said, ‘We thought he was in the end zone when he threw it,’ ” Spurrier said. “They told me that he was on the 1-yard line, so they didn’t need to look at it. That’s all I heard.”
The third issue for Spurrier was an offensive pass interference call against Pharoh Cooper that wiped out a 25-yard reception by Rod Talley midway through the fourth quarter.
“I haven’t seen the tape of it. (Cooper) said the guy ran around him. I don’t know,” Spurrier said. “We’ll just have to look at it. That was a tough call.
“We had several calls. I don’t know what the head official will say, if they’re good or not.”