With a chance to set up its biggest game against arch-rival North Carolina since 1939, No. 22 Duke instead pooped all over itself Saturday night against a Miami team still wiping off its own mess after what Clemson did to the Hurricanes the week before. The Blue Devils were getting tossed around at home until, as they’re wont to do under miracle-worker David Cutcliffe, they seemed to have pulled out yet another improbable win when they scored a touchdown with six seconds left to cap a drive aided greatly by not one by two pass interference penalties.
Then Duke’s two-star guys got in a streetball game with Canes’ five-star guys. This is what happens when two-star guys match athletic ability with five-star guys:
Miami controlled Duke all evening despite being flagged 23 – 23 – times for 194 – 194 – yards and playing with a backup quarterback being coached by a guy who got the job about three days ago. The Blue Devils didn’t deserve to win, but still should have. It was difficult to keep up with all of the egregiously terrible officiating during that final play, but here’s a summary:
- Block in the back not called
- Block in the back that wasn’t was called but was uncalled when a penalty that cannot be reviewed was reviewed
- Knee of Miami player clearly down directly in front of official who nonetheless allowed the play to continue. See?
Best of all, it took 10 minutes and two reviews to get nothing right. Everybody watching on TV knew you can’t overturn a penalty on review, yet they still did. FOX rules analyst Mike Pereira was beside himself:
On Sunday, the ACC suspended the crew for two games, acknowledging a comical level of incompetence on the most important play of Duke’s season. That does absolutely nothing to resuscitate the Blue Devils’ dead hopes of a trip to the ACC championship game, of course, and in the long run it’s likely even their own fans – all 15 of them – will be as happy as the rest of us that this play will go down in sport legend.
From that perspective, bravo terrible officials. Bravo.