USC Football's Brenden Rice calls out refs for big call on final drive

Brenden Rice, USC Football, USC Trojans
Brenden Rice, USC Football, USC Trojans / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

USC Football Kick Returner Raleek Brown returned the last kickoff of the Utah game to approximately the 50-yard line in Week 7's loss to the Utes. SC only had 48 seconds on the clock after Utah QB Cam Rising scored the game-winning touchdown and two-point conversion for the Utes. The Trojans needed that return very badly.

The issue is, the referees called a holding flag on USC WR Brenden Rice, which sent the team all the way back to the SC 20-yard line. SC only ended up making it to the 40-yard line. That being said, those 20 yards would have taken SC to approximately Utah's 30-yard line without the holding penalty on the kick.

They then could have either taken an approximately 47-yard field goal for the win, which everyone who has a brain would trust Denis Lynch to hit. They also could have used seven of those eight remaining seconds to run it with Travis Dye, who had been gashing the Utes all night, and give Lynch an even easier kick.

While it's by no means Rice's fault that the Trojans lost, one way they could have won (and would have won) is if his penalty didn't happen. Rice took notice of that, and brought it up after practice on Wednesday. Most notably, however, he questioned the call as well:

USC Football WR Brenden Rice doesn't buy the holding call against him.

And look, both sides have their points when it comes to Brenden Rice's holding call for that kickoff before USC Football's final drive. Some may say it was not egregious, and that other holds just as bad or worse weren't being called during that game (such as Utah's hold against USC on Cam Rising's game-winning touchdown).

Some may say that the hold still should count, as the Utah player wound up on the ground as a result. Again, though, Rice IS at least unquestionably right in that USC would have won if that call wasn't made. The only aspect of what he said that's in question is if it was the right call or not. And again, it's tough to just rule that the call was incorrect because it's a judgement call, and it truly could have gone either way.

Next. Predictions for rest of USC Football season. dark

Regardless, the good thing is that it was just a one-point loss, and it wasn't a home loss. There was also tons of clearly awful officiating going on throughout the game that was against USC, and the voters clearly know that, as they still had USC four spots ahead of Utah in the poll despite losing to the Utes.