By Maura Sheridan
Eight laterals later and the Duke-Miami game continued the trend of crazy college football endings this weekend. The Hurricanes erased what appeared to be the game-winning touchdown on a quarterback sneak by Duke’s Thomas Sirk, when they threw eight laterals to reach the end zone and win 30-27.Embed from Getty Images
The final play sparked a lot of controversy, as the officials missed calls that would have ended the game with Sirk and company on top. The most obvious misses including a player’s knee being down on a lateral and a blatant block in the back by a Miami player. The miffs by the referees led to an outcry by the Duke community, including Blue Devil head coach David Cutcliffe, to reverse the outcome of the game as a Duke victory. The ACC responded by suspending all the officials on the field and in the replay booth, for two games, but refused to change the final score of the game. A decision that may infuriate Duke fans, but overall makes the most sense. The final play was obviously miscalled but reversing the outcome would open a door that could not be closed. Looking back there has been thousands of mistakes made by referees that could be argued to have changed the outcome of games. Is the ACC going to go back and reverse all of those games? No and not only cant hey not afford to, but they don’t want to do it. Part of sports in officiating, and just like players and coaches, refs also mess up. You can’t try and make up for every mistake. That would take the some of the fun out of football.
Despite your opinion on the matter, the ACC has made its final decision and Duke will now have to live with a loss, something easier said then done for the Blue Devils. Formally ranked number 18 in the country, Cutcliffe’s team just fell out of the AP Top 25 Poll all together. The second loss of the season also means the Blue Devil’s stand in second in the ACC, tied with Pittsburgh and behind next week’s opponent North Carolina. It is now an uphill battle for the Blue Devils to win the ACC Coastal and play for the ACC championship. Winning against the Tar Heels next weekend is almost a must for the Blue Devils.Embed from Getty Images
Miami shrugged off the controversy and took the much-needed win as a rebound after the demise of what looked like a promising season. Clemson pounded them the week before leading to the firing of head coach Al Golden. The Canes also proved they could play without starting quarterback Brad Kaaya, who was out with a concussion. The defense really stepped up in the win, led by junior linebacker Jermaine Grace who racked up 17 tackles and forced a fumble. Not only is the win a rebound for Miami it also puts them back on track to complete for the ACC Coastal. With a 5-3 record they are now only one game behind Pittsburgh and Duke. With four teams viciously competing for that top spot, it looks like the race to win the division will be a fight to the end.