Admitting what was clear to most everyone last night, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced Saturday that referees should have reviewed the clock and added one second after Michael Carter stepped out of bounds on the last play of the game. The ball should have been spotted at the Wake Forest 43 yard line with at least a chance for UNC to get off a final play.
The most frustrating part of the play wasn’t necessarily that the referees didn’t immediately know there was a second left on the clock when Carter’s foot stepped out of bounds, but that they all immediately ran off the field without even bothering to review the clock. Mack Brown told the media after the game that at least one referee had signaled that there was one second left on the clock.
Having one second left is obviously no guarantee of success. It would have taken a Hail Mary and a prayer for the Tar Heels to turn one second into six points. However, they should have had the chance to try. That’s the biggest issue here. It’s quite possible the game would have ended before they got a snap off with an inexperienced center, or perhaps the pass would have been incomplete, or any of the other scenarios that wouldn’t have resulted in a touchdown. It’s still frustrating that the team didn’t get the opportunity to try after all of their previous fourth quarter heroics, and clearly the ACC agreed that they should have had one more shot at it.
The League supervisor said discipline for the referees will be handled internally and the matter is closed, so that’s kind of the end of it. Knowing that our eyes were correct is only so helpful when nothing can be done about it, but at least it’s something. I guess.