USC football should have had the opportunity to kick a field goal at the end of the first half during Saturday’s game against Arizona, but Pac-12 officials screwed the Trojans with improper clock management. Lincoln Riley went ballistic.
With 45 seconds remaining in the second quarter and a four-point lead, USC took over on offense at its own 33-yard-line. A quick, nine-yard completion and an incomplete pass set up 3rd-and-1 from the 42.
On third down, the Trojans completed a 14-yard pass to the Arizona 44-yard-line for a first down. Riley called a timeout, which was his last, with eight seconds left.
On the proceeding down, Caleb Williams completed a pass to Brenden Rice, Jerry Rice’s son, that went for 34 yards to the Wildcats’ 10-yard-line. There was about six seconds left on the clock when he was tackled.
Because it was a first down, the clock should have stopped until the ball was set and the officials signaled ready for play. That would have allowed USC to spike the ball and kick an all-but sure thing field goal.
Instead, the clock continued to run. To make matters worse, the referee moved the spot of the ball back after the Trojans’ offense had already set up for the spike.
As a result, the clock ran all the way down to zero and the half came to a close.
USC head coach Lincoln Riley lost his mind on the Pac-12 officiating crew.
Following the clear, objectively incorrect clock management, Riley was heated. And understandably so. He went over to the Pac-12 crew and went absolutely ballistic before one of his assistant coaches pulled him away.
Riley was not the only one who was infuriated by the poor officiating. USC athletic director Mike Bohn also expressed his frustration on Twitter.
While it was not guaranteed that USC would make the field goal after the spike, it was a chip shot. The Trojans were robbed of three points.