Josh Kendall

Clock query: SEC mum on end of USC-Tennessee game

A Southeastern Conference official declined comment Wednesday on a clock issue the league was asked by South Carolina coach Will Muschamp to review.

Conference coaches traditionally send SEC coordinator of football officials Steve Shaw plays they would like reviewed each Sunday of the football season, and Muschamp said he asked Shaw to look at how Tennessee was able to run two plays in the final four seconds of the Gamecocks’ 15-9 victory against the Vols on Saturday in Neyland Stadium.

SEC spokesman Chuck Dunlap said conversations between Shaw and the league’s coaches are considered confidential and that the league won’t have any comment on the end of the USC-Tennessee game.

Twice this season, the SEC has issued statements when officiating errors were made, first in the Texas A&M-Arkansas game when Aggies quarterback Kellen Mond was incorrectly ruled out of bounds on a touchdown run and again because of a clock error in the Missouri-Kentucky game.

Muschamp said Wednesday night on his “Carolina Calls” radio program that he did speak to the league about the play.

“I can’t say anthing past that,” Muschamp said. “We have league rules that prohibit me from commenting publicly, and I promised my wife I’m not getting fined so I’m not going to tell you what I think.”

The game clock at SEC games is run by a standby official provided by the conference. There is a standby official at every conference game who is ready to replace an official who has to leave during the game because of injury or illness. If the standby official is needed in the game, the play clock operator, usually a person provided by the home team, runs the game clock.

No officials left the field in the South Carolina-Tennessee game, meaning the conference’s standby official was running the game clock the entire game.

The Gamecocks stopped the Volunteers from the 2-yard-line on the final two plays as passes fell incomplete.

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