Mississippi State players

The 2023 ReliaQuest Bowl certainly had its fair share of exciting and emotional moments. Lost in the excitement was the time a Mississippi State player got penalized for what was described as a “spanking motion.”

With a little over 12 minutes left in the 4th quarter, the Bulldogs and Illinois Fighting Illini were locked in a tight affair where every play matters. So when an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was called on the MSU defensive secondary, it was cause for concern. However, it was also a little confusing in the announcer’s booth after a pass was broken up. While play-by-play announcer Dave Flemming thought the penalty was on the defender who broke up the pass and then wagged his finger like Dikembe Mutombo, analyst Rod Gilmore pointed out that the penalty was actually called on safety Shawn Preston for what he referred to as a “spanking motion.”

“It wasn’t The Mutombo. It was after that when Preston showed up and did the spanking motion.”

That’s certainly one way to describe it.

The game itself was an emotional one as there were multiple tributes to Mike Leach, who passed away last month. Not to mention, a thrilling final play of the game that ended up being a particularly bad beat for Illinois bettors.

[Awful Announcing]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.