When Zero Isn't Zero

When is zero not really zero? Apparently Saturday night in Gainesville, Fla., according to the Southeastern Conference.

Florida's controversial game-tying touchdown in the first overtime Saturday night appeared to occur after the play clock had expired, sending Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops into a sideline tirade and prompting UK officials to request an explantion from the league office.

The Wildcats got their answer Sunday evening, and it probably won't make them feel any better about the situation.

A statement released by the SEC stated:

"At the request of the University of Kentucky, consistent with SEC protocol, the conference office reviewed the fourth down play in the first overtime of the Kentucky-Florida game and has determined the officials applied the proper mechanics and guidelines that are in place to determine when a flag should be thrown for delay of game.

"The back judge is responsible for delay of game calls. The procedure for the back judge is for his eyes to stay on the clock when it nears zero. When the clock hits zero, he immediately looks from the clock to the ball. If the ball is moving, there is no delay of game. If the ball is stationary, a delay of game penalty is called."

Interpreting that ambiguous explanation may require another statement from the league office, but it won't change the outcome of Saturday's game at "The Swamp." Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to receiver Demarcus Robinson, who had slipped behind the UK defenders Cody Quinn and Ashely Lowery into the left corner of the end zone, to send the game to a second overtime period.

Florida, which scrambled to get the play off, also may have had an illegal formation with only six men on the line of scrimmage, according to some coaches who chimed in on social media Saturday night.

The Cats and Gators exchanged field goals in the second overtime. Kentucky eventually fell to the Gators 36-30 in triple-overtime, the Wildcats' 28th consecutive loss in the series.


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