Twitter exploded with Ty “Honey Badger” Mathieu scoring a touchdown on a 62 yard punt return in today’s SEC championship game against Georgia — one of the biggest plays of the biggest game of the day. But a controversy soon followed.
First, here’s the electrifying punt return. Watch closely towards the end, as Mathieu approaches the endzone.
Now, for the controversy: within minutes of the TD, several tweets popped up claiming that Mathieu had actually flipped the ball to the official before it broke the plane of the endzone. CBS noticed as well, and immediately put together a goal line replay package.
Judge for yourself, America: did the Honey Badger flip it early? Is the SEC championship, currently 10-7 in favor of Georgia, actually closer than it should be right now?
After DeSean Jackson’s famous 2009 error on Monday Night Football resulted in a lost TD, viewers are on the lookout for this type of thing. Apparently, SEC officials are not: it appears they missed what could very well have been a touchback.
UPDATE: According to former NFL Vice President of Officiating and current FOX NFL Rules Analyst Mike Pereira, it should’ve been ruled a forward pass, not a fumble. Had it been called, it would’ve been been 1st and Goal for LSU from the 5 yard line.