The end of the first half of the Kentucky vs. Auburn game featured two controversial officiating decisions in an absolutely wild sequence of events.
Trailing 8-7, Kentucky had a first-and-goal from the Auburn 2-yard line with 1:14 left in the half. The ball was given to running back Christopher Rodriguez Jr., and it appeared that he crossed the plane of the goal line by a fairly comfortable margin.
The play was reviewed, and, inexplicably, the call on the field stood even though it looked pretty clear that Rodriguez had scored.
On the next play, Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson was stopped short of the goal line on a sneak, setting up a critical third-and-goal play from the 1-yard line with 26 seconds remaining before halftime. UK dialed up a play-action pass and Wilson forced one into traffic and was intercepted by Auburn’s Roger McCreary.
McCreary was off to the races and went 100 yards for a pick-six for the Tigers. It was an absolutely brutal turn of events for Kentucky — until a flag was thrown.
While the play was reviewed to see if McCreary stepped out of bounds, a targeting penalty was identified. During the return, Auburn’s Derick Hall was flagged for targeting on a Kentucky player near the sideline at the 30-yard line.
Because of the targeting call, the touchdown was taken off the board and the Auburn offense was put out on the field at its own 15-yard line with only a few seconds remaining in the half. The Tigers took a knee and went into the break with an 8-7 lead when it appeared that the lead would be 15-7.
Neither Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops or Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn were pleased about the officiating as they entered the locker room.
The sequence had a bit impact on the game, too, as Auburn ended up winning, 29-13.
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