The Dye-Log: Exciting And Strange Finishes

Hall of Fame coach Pat Dye writes about SEC games and other happenings in college football.

I don't remember a more exciting weekend of college football when it comes to tight games and dramatic finishes. Keeping pace with the national trend, there was plenty of excitement at Jordan-Hare Stadium as part of a weekend that featured fantastic finishes from coast to coast in week two of the season.


It got started on Friday night with Arizona State beating Missouri in overtime and kept on going with Cal beating Colorado in overtime, Iowa State beating Iowa in overtime and Michigan outlasting Notre Dame in a contest that featured three quick touchdowns at the end of the game.

There were plenty of other exciting finishes, but probably none stranger than the one that took place at the Los Angeles Coliseum that went down to the last play. Utah was kicking a field goal to send the game into overtime, but Southern Cal blocked the kick and returned it for a touchdown. However, Trojan players ran onto the field from the sidelines while the play was in progress and the game officials took the touchdown off the scoreboard.

A couple of hours later the Pac 12 ruled the touchdown should have counted and changed the final score of the game, something that might be a first in college football history.

The reason the touchdown was restored is because the new rule is that if you get a penalty for taunting prior to a touchdown being scored, the touchdown is taken away. What happened in the USC-Utah game was that Southern Cal players were penalized for excessive celebration, which is a 15-yard penalty on either the extra point or the following kickoff. That penalty doesn't take the points off the scoreboard so that explains why the decision was made after that crazy finish.

In what was supposed to be one of the exciting intersectional games on Saturday with Alabama traveling to Penn State, fans saw a boring game with both of those teams running conventional offenses. However, a different game involving the SEC was much more entertaining as South Carolina outscored Georgia 45-42 in Athens. What an unbelievable game that was with South Carolina scoring three touchdowns with its defense and kicking game against what I think is a pretty talented Georgia football team.

Georgia should be favored against everybody they play until the Florida game so it will be interesting to see how the Bulldogs respond to their 0-2 start.

The Mississippi State at Auburn game didn't take a backseat to any of the others when it comes to excitement. That contest was a matchup of the old dogs vs. a bunch of puppies with a veteran Mississippi State team taking on a young team that Auburn put on the field Saturday. What we learned from that game is that puppies can bite, too.

For the Tigers quarterback Barrett Trotter, outside of one bad play, handled the game very well. Auburn moved the ball more consistently than it did against Utah State.

Defensively, if the Tigers made the big stops on the goal line at the end of the game, they could have put away the visitors much earlier by making a stop or two in third down and long situations. It is critical for this Auburn team that its defense finds a way to get off the field on third downs and fourth downs.

It is going to be tough to top last week's excitement in week three. Auburn at Clemson will be a game of interest matching the SEC vs. the ACC.

Another ACC team, Florida State, will play at home against top-ranked Oklahoma in what should be one of the big showdowns of the first half of the college football season. That looks like a fairly even matchup and one a lot of people will be watching.

(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to

Editor's Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for about the game he played and coached. An All-American player at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn, he also served as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye participates in the Legends Poll, a Top 25 rating of the best teams in college football as determined by a panel of all-star former head coaches. Dye writes three columns for Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat's Picks.

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