The Big East released an official statement supporting the no-call on the game’s final play.
Big East football coordinator Terry McAulay had this to say:
“After review, the Conference believes that the game officials correctly
applied the proper mechanics and guidelines that are in place to
determine, in a consistent manner, when a flag should be thrown for
delay of game,” the statement read.
While the conference all but conceded that the play-clock had struck :00, the mechanics of calling a delay penalty allow a small amount of time to pass before the back judge throws a flag.
“The responsibility is assigned to the Back Judge, who in this situation
was standing beneath the upright. Proper mechanics dictate that his
focus be directed to the play clock as it approaches zero. When the play
clock display reads zero, he must re-direct his attention to the ball.
At that time, if the snap has not started, a flag will be thrown for
delay of game. If the snap has begun, no flag will be thrown.
“Under these procedures, there will always be a small amount of lag
time between the time the clock reads zero and the time the Back Judge
is able to see the football.
“On the play in question, this lag time created the situation where
it appears the play clock expired just before the snap. We believe the
snap occurred well within the normal lag time for the Back Judge to make
This play is not reviewable under current NCAA rules.”
Head coach Brian Kelly had this to say when asked if his players felt robbed.
“I just think they’re excuses. We had a chance to defend the play, we
didn’t defend the play,” Kelly said. “Regardless of what may or may not be the case.
This is still about what happens on the field. We had our opportunity to
defend the play.”