USC HC Lincoln Riley reveals what refs said about first half blunder

Lincoln Riley, USC Football, USC Trojans
Lincoln Riley, USC Football, USC Trojans / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

When USC Football Head Coach Lincoln Riley saw his team complete a first down pass down to the Arizona 10-yard line with six seconds left in the first half, he knew his quarterback would be able to spike the ball and set up his kicker for a 27-yard field goal that would send the Trojans into halftime up 20-13.

In college football the clock stops on first downs until the officials are able to get over and spot the ball. Instead, though, the referees just ran the clock and didn't stop it while they spotted the ball. Therefore, the clock ran out before the officials spotted the ball.

The officials then got together--seemingly deciding that they would put six seconds left on the clock and have USC get their chance to run their play (which would have been a spike of course). Instead, however, they just announced that the first half was over...Riley was HOT, and let the officials have it. Nobody knew how the referees didn't even know basic rules and how their own sport works.

Even the PAC-12 Network broadcasters railed against their own refs during the game. Then, Riley was asked on the radio broadcast if they gave him an explanation after the play. He revealed that they did not. After the game, Riley revealed when the refs FINALLY fessed up to their mistake:

The refs finally admitted to Lincoln Riley that they took three points away from USC Football just before the third quarter.

It was still disappointing, however, that the officials didn't do anything about them taking points away from Lincoln Riley and this USC Football team. If they know they messed up, why didn't they choose to just put those six seconds back on the clock, instead of just sending everybody into halftime?

This was very easily correctable, and they chose to botch the call that they (and everyone obviously) knew was wrong. It was yet another situation where the PAC-12 referees' consistent failure at their jobs cost USC big.

Next. Predictions for rest of USC Football season. dark

It makes it more impressive that SC was able to get the win. They not only were battling an absurd amount of injuries, but also refs that quite literally did not know what they were doing. SC is now up to No. 9 in the AP Poll, and will learn their first College Football Playoff ranking fate on Tuesday night.