College Sports

Muschamp clarifies his postgame statements on controversial non-replay vs. Alabama

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp admitted he didn’t clearly explain a rather controversial moment in last week’s Alabama game.

“I didn’t explain it very well because I was very frustrated,” Muschamp said on his call-in show. “There’s not a lot I can do in that situation. If they’re not going to stop the game to take a look at it, obviously, that’s not something they’re going to review.

“They were not going to overturn the ruling.”

Following the loss, he said a play in which tailback Rico Dowdle was ruled down just short of the goal line was not reviewable. In truth, he could have challenged it, and the replay booth could have reviewed it. But the refs did not.

“Personally, I felt like the play should’ve been stopped and reviewed,” Muschamp said. “But it wasn’t. And when it’s not reviewed, very seldom are they going to overturn the ruling. That was what was told to me on the field and that was confirmed by the Southeastern Conference office. We had two timeouts. We’re inside 20 seconds. It’s second down. I told (Bryan McClendon), call the play. Let’s see if they’ll stop it. Obviously, we figured out they weren’t going to stop it.”

The next call was one that looked pretty familiar.

“We had the same play we had run previously with Rico, which is really a run-pass option,” Muschamp said. “Alabama brought double edge pressure. Ryan (Hilinski), as he should, pulled the ball. We got a little bumped and off in timing as far as throwing the football to I believe it was ... Kyle Markway.”

The pass sailed over Markway. The next play, the Gamecocks tried a toss play, but the snap was fumbled. A near-miss on fourth down left the Gamecocks down 24-10 heading into halftime, rather than down a score.

As he went to halftime, Muschamp said he wouldn’t comment on the descision to not review, saying he’d be fined “for the rest of my life.”

On Thursday, Muschamp said the timeout saved by not challenging paid off when it was called a play later to settle things down. USC had two more at the time and needed to use both.

The missed red-zone chance and non-review got a lot of attention coming out of the game.

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