Growing up a sports junkie, I had my fair share of poorly officiated games. When I griped about the officiating, I was often reminded that the players always make more mistakes than the officials. Whether it was that missed tackle in football or an untimely turnover in basketball, a game’s outcome was nearly always decided by the teams competing.
The Aggies were awful last week, there’s no other way to put it. Simply, they deserved to lose to LSU. They allowed a one dimensional offense to go for 491 yards total (384 rushing) while only putting up 228 yards themselves. It was both a testament to how awful the defense has been this season as well as how much the offense has struggled against top defenses.
Nevertheless, they found themselves with the ball, over two minutes left on the clock, and an opportunity to score the game tying touchdown. Two quick 12 yard passes to Boone Niederhofer and Speedy Noil brought the aggies to midfield. Then on a 3rd and 10, the Aggies drew an LSU defensive lineman offsides (or at least they thought) and chucked it downfield on a “free play”. The Aggie offense, the LSU defense, and 100,000 screaming fans all knew it was a free play. But when the deep throw into double coverage was intercepted, there were no flags to be found. The two line judges had inexplicably missed it, and it singlehandedly cost A&M the game.
It’s beyond frustrating to lose a game like this. But this single instance doesn’t even account for the awful targeting penalty on Armani Watts or even the “inadvertent whistle” that allowed LSU replay 3rd down. Awful. The Aggies made plenty of mistakes on their own, but when the game was on the line the refs blew it.