Auburn’s 48-45 Iron Bowl win over Alabama will be remembered for several noteworthy plays and two officiating decisions, including the ruling to put one second back on the clock right before halftime.
Adding that second enabled Auburn to kick a field goal on the final play of the half and sent Nick Saban into a rage. After the game, Saban still expressed disbelief at the decision.
In a statement sent to AL.com, the SEC explained the reasoning behind the clock management before halftime on Saturday.
“At the end of the 1st half in the Alabama vs Auburn game, during a play that resulted in a first down inbounds, the game clock went to 0:00. Replay stopped the game to review the clock. The decision from the Instant Replay Official was that video evidence showed there was 1 second on the clock when the player was down so the clock operator was instructed to put 1 second back on the game clock. The referee came back out to the line of scrimmage and informed both teams that the clock would start on the ready for play. The referee got back in position and blew his whistle and wound the clock. The snap was off before the clock went to 0:00.”
Alabama’s loss eliminated the Tide from College Football Playoff contention. It was Auburn’s second win over its arch-rival in the last three seasons.
In addition to the last second first half controversy, Alabama fans will be haunted by their own missed field goal in the final minutes, in addition to a pair of pick-sixes thrown by quarterback Mac Jones.
This is a loss that is going to sting for a while.