SEC coordinator of officials: Crew blew call twice in Vols victory

Game recap: Tennessee 27, Vanderbilt 21

For Tennessee to survive a blown call at the end of Saturday's 27-21 victory over Vanderbilt, the officiating crew made it right by bypassing proper protocol.

SEC coordinator of officials Steve Shaw released a statement early Sunday morning detailing how the crew erred on multiple occasions during the game's final, hectic moment.

"On the last play of the Vanderbilt-Tennessee game, in overtime, the Tennessee defender intercepted the pass, his knee did not touch the ground and he returned the interception for a touchdown," Shaw wrote of Eric Gordon's game-winning, 90-yard interception return for a touchdown. "During the play, the head linesman incorrectly ruled that the Tennessee player's knee was down when he intercepted the pass by blowing his whistle and giving the dead ball signal. The play was reviewed as if there was no whistle on the field and as a result, overturned the incorrect ruling.

"By rule, if there was a whistle blown, the play is not reviewable."

But it was, and UT (5-6, 1-6 SEC) escaped with its first SEC win of the season and its 28th win in the past 29 meetings against the Commodores (5-6, 2-6).

"He made a huge play and it was really exciting and then it almost

got ripped out," UT coach Derek Dooley said. "But you know what, maybe the ole luck has turned on Tennessee."

Though he was irate on the field, Vanderbilt coach James Franklin was calm and even-keeled when detailing his side of the story shortly after the game.

"They blew the play dead," Franklin said. "They blew him down, but they explained to me again why you can do that and it still counts.

"They explained every call on the sideline and I didn't have my rulebook. They explained it very well. (The referees) were very pleasant when they explained them."

Saturday's head referee, Marc Curles, has been through his fair share of controversial calls. After making questionable calls in two different games in October 2009, Curles and his crew were suspended for two weeks, a previously unprecedented move by the SEC.

Last night's crew wasn't entirely the same as the 2009 group.

Andrew Gribble may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble

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Comments » 244

mdvol writes:

Justice prevaled. Clean pick by Gordon and great run to the house!

VolNavy writes:

The head linesman apparently said that while he ruled him down, he didn't blow his whistle. That's why the officials were able to review it. Everyone watching and listening heard a whistle, yes, but none of the officials admitted to blowing it. Bottom line is that in the end, the correct call was made...

CrankE writes:

So . . . 2 wrongs DO make a right?

mtthw741 writes:

In this case two wrongs did make a right.

CrankE writes:

You know, a declaration of "game over" by the head referee isn't reviewable either. Yet UNC was gifted an opportunity to kick a game tying field goal and subsequent overtime.

Bubba_Knows writes:

See - Bubba does know!

bigorangetrain writes:

I understand the fact that they didn't follow proper procedure on the review but they got it right and getting it right is what matters!

OrangePride writes:

I was certain we were visiting LSU and UNC yet again and the ghost of end-game misery had once more done his worst. Happily, they finally got it right! Great win for the Vols and a great night at the stadium......although not without it's usual hand wringing....GO VOLS!! BEAT DEM KITTIES LIKE RENTED MULES!!

Bubba_Knows writes:

If Vandy was going to beat us, this was their year to do it. Next year, we should be a much better team just getting Bray and Hunter healthy. Rogers is now a major threat too and some of the young guys are stepping up their game as well. Got to get the OL and DL pumped up and get that running game going. Guys are still very young - should be much better next year with another off season work out program.

volman2008 writes:

tought,live with it vandy.

madrigal writes:

Coaches can't criticize officials even a little bit, but the SEC can come out and basically say their officials were lousy and blew a game....something wrong with this picture. Once it's done, it's done, both sides.

madrigal writes:

in response to PatientlyWaiting:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If you are such a wonderful coach, why don't you have a job in a major program? I guess you'd rather sit on the sidelines and call names.

kjvols writes:

in response to PatientlyWaiting:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dude it was reversed last year two times,if this is the best you got,get back in mommas basement and get ready for church... You need it

VolfanClinton writes:

Dooley is still a terrible coach !! Got lucky on a blown call ..can we get Kiffin back !!

STLVOLS writes:

OK, I think this particular topic has been beat to redundancy.

Gave Over, guys. GBO!!

THEKIDWISCONSIN writes:

1) We were due.

2) Even w/o the return that pick ends Vandy's possession. We at worst run a couple times and kick the FG, game over anyway!

UTKin1992 writes:

Two wrongs don't make a right...but...two Wrights do make an airplane.

dislikethemtrolls writes:

in response to PatientlyWaiting:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What a fool. Isn't it time for your diaper to be changed?

VOL1972 writes:

I don't know how the Coordinator can say they blew a whistle. When the ref announced that the play was under review, he clearly stated that there was no whistle. What part of "no" doesn't the Coordinator understand.

kcbigorngX writes:

in response to PatientlyWaiting:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey Maverick,
You were a crybaby when you were 17 yrs. old and you are still a crybaby.

Franklin missed the last chance he will ever get at beating Dooley, and Vandy is the same old Peabody.

Give Mr. Tennessee a hug for me.

davidray31#232814 writes:

Bottom line is, just like LSU and North Carolina did last year....Tennessee won the game!!

TennVolgal writes:

in response to PatientlyWaiting:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Are you a moron or what?? They did it to us twice last year(LSU and UNC). I understand your frustrations (see my above parenthesis) but get a life!! It was a great TD run and it was the correct call.

UkJarhead writes:

in response to kjvols:

Dude it was reversed last year two times,if this is the best you got,get back in mommas basement and get ready for church... You need it

Yes it was reversed two times last year and you hated it and complained. It was the correct result but let's at least admit that we hate calls that don't favor our team regardless of the right or wrong. You can't deny that if Vandy had won this way you would be screaming that officials should follow the rules, period. Doesn't matter that he should have scored. We all want our teams to win. Now.....

How sweet it will be to end the streak and dash your bowl hopes. It's time. Rogers bulletin board material...... Keep it coming. This is our Bowl Game. The "End Streak" Bowl.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Add the holding call on Fugate that I believe ended a drive to the list of blown calls

TennVolgal writes:

in response to VolfanClinton:

Dooley is still a terrible coach !! Got lucky on a blown call ..can we get Kiffin back !!

And you are no Volfan!!!

SCvol81 writes:

in response to PatientlyWaiting:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You know, the statement from the SEC said that blowing the play dead was the INCORRECT call. Take a chill pill. Game over, man.

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

Say what you want about Coach Franklin, he has some fire in him. If he were on the Hill I would be willing to bet UT would have had more than 1 SEC win.

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

Death, Taxes, Beating Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

SCvol81 writes:

in response to toddyboy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Kifffin was immature and had no loyalty to UT. We owe him none in return. For those who like Kiffin, they need to head to SC (and that's Southern Cal, NOT South Carolina), cause HE AIN"T COMING BACK HERE!

Delta is ready when they are!

dyerbey#281598 writes:

We were having a horrible season, Vandy was having a dream season yet we still came out on top. Will this shut their pie holes up?

brokendownoldvol writes:

Why can't the SEC get decent refs? HS and Pop Warner does.

minnehan writes:

in response to PatientlyWaiting:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Perception is reality. You just keep believing that Dooley and staff are idiots. Just because you believe it does not make it true. Tennessee is on the rise with this staff and the sooner you accept it the sooner you can deal with your anger and frustration! Game over.

JayGee writes:

If they go back and reverse the call of the safety and 2 points that we should have gotten there, the game would have been over anyway.

volman2008 writes:

If they blue the whistle,the worse tenn.ball at the 25 going in,and i like our chances,,,,,,,,

OldNumber7 writes:

Despite all of the officiating blunders on that play, the result was correct; interception, no knee touched, returned for touchdown. Game over. This reviewable-not reviewable is semantics and would have resulted in an incorrect call and robbed UT of a great play. The correct end result occurred.

kcbigorngX writes:

in response to sly_stone99#434111:

Say what you want about Coach Franklin, he has some fire in him. If he were on the Hill I would be willing to bet UT would have had more than 1 SEC win.

I'll take that bet and you're gonna regret...

Franklin would never have been able to recruit the freshmen that have been starting for the Vols all year.

He is lucky to inherit a team that is loaded with Jr. and Sr. players, and will be gone within 2 years crying that the 'pubs running Vanderbilt wouldn't build him a new stadium.

GREATVOLSAFIRE writes:

One more win and I'll be happy!!!!That will help us with more practice time and help us out for next year! GBO!!!

tennrich1 writes:

Havent read all the meanders but two things are for sure....the officials got it right...no question about it...and we are a MUCH BETTER team with a healthy, non-rusty Tyler Bray....and I agree with Brian Griese...will Justin Hunter playing....WE ARE TONS BETTER... however thought D Rogers showed up and showed out....great game DRogers....

chuckfromwoodbury writes:

in response to PatientlyWaiting:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

According to you, our idiot beat your genius. Bawhahahahahahaha!!!!!! Same ole vandy! Loser

Gooseit writes:

Just curious, if He would have been whistled down, Dooley would have been able to challenge it, right?

jobrando#216494 writes:

Eric Gordon has gone from the dog house to Dooley's house...This defense was energized to level not seen in years. Next year looks great for the defense.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to PatientlyWaiting:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

OK bright one . There are two issues here. One is that there has never been, never been a review of a play that a whistle wasn't blown before the review. Period. Also the very purpoce of a review is that a poor judgement call by an official may be overruled. So what didn't they get right. Learn the rules and their purpose.

Pipe_Down_Otis writes:

We won the game...but if you are honest with yourself you know we got lucky. Rogers had his worst game as a starter. Bray was just so-so, and should have had 2 batted balls at the line of scrimmage intercepted. And somehow Vanderbilt has a worse field goal kicker than we do. I have watched UT for 40 years, and this is the worst kicker and punter we have ever had, and what's more insane is that they keep doing it week after week. And these guys were the number 1 rated field goal kicker and punter coming out of high school? I don't think we should use that recruiting service any more, on any player.

10ACTom writes:

Go Demon Deacons!!

martinvol34 writes:

in response to PatientlyWaiting:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're a bitter idiot.

VolinCalif writes:

One thing to think about is, what is wanted in the SEC teams. One might think that it was wanted for Vandy to wi. Because they would be showing improvement and that would be great for the Conf. UT on the other hand is just having a down year which happens to all teams at one time or another.

HtownVol writes:

The safety was a major blown call. Rodgers knees never hit until he was in the endzone.

Watching the EG return inOT I NEVER once thought his knee hit the ground.

Didnt I also hear the refs say it was a fumble???

Look, the refs screwed up big time and they should never be allowed to ref a game again but we all know they just looked the other way because they knew the whistle should never had blown.

The play was not reviewable but the whistle should never had been blown.

If there is a whistle or not, NO VANDY PLAYER CATCHES EG. SO WHAT DOES IT MATTER????

VolinCalif writes:

in response to Abdul_Wauhatchie_Tiftonia_Rahman_of_Orange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yes Rutgers won. But Cincy lost their star QB a game and a half ago. just not the same team that played all year. But what the heck I bet you knew that also.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to PatientlyWaiting:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Proper precedure is - If you are not certain, throw a flag and don't blow the whistle. The play can then be reviewed and the ruling over turned. The official knew he didn't follow procedure and thus denied his mistake.If all things were done the way they should have been, UT still wins. All things were not, UT wins. Had his knee been down, odds are high that we manage a fg and UT wins. Vandy had countless opportunities to put TN away and failed. They played very well but choked too many times. I understand your frustration but suggest looking at Vandy and missed fgs' etc... not a series of mistakes by some odd refs.

Bigger_Al writes:

The refs made the call that prevented them from being suspended again. The dork linesman, who must have been watching anything else except the play, comes running in and blows his whistle after Gordon and his entourage of about eight blockers is already thirty yards downfield with no Vandy player in sight. They all knew that the dork screwed up, and they all knew his late, erroneous whistle had no effect on the play.

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