The clock started early, costing USC a final chance at points in the first half A major controversy with the clock erupted in the final moments of the second quarter in Saturday’s game between USC and Arizona.

USC’s football team had a chance to build on its 17-13 lead against Arizona on Saturday night. Just before halftime, the Trojans were into Wildcats’ territory and while USC was out of time outs, the Trojans seemingly had more than enough time to complete a pass in bounds, get up to the line while the chains were being set and spike the ball. Only, it didn’t quite work out that way.

Quarterback Caleb Williams completed a pass to Brenden Rice, who was brought down just inside of Arizona’s 10-yard line with five seconds remaining. USC rushed to the line to spike the ball. Only, the clock was restarted. By the time the referee actually set the ball, the clock was at zero. The Trojans briefly protested before trying to snap the ball before the clock ran out. USC was unsuccessful and even if it wasn’t, the plan the Trojans ran didn’t result in a score.

The arguments were ineffective. The referees did not put any more time on the clock and the first half ended in controversial fashion.

Naturally, USC coach Lincoln Riley was not happy with what transpired.

He was not the only one. Several people in the college football world blasted the Pac-12 referees. Many of those tweets were retweeted by Mike Bohn, USC’s athletic director.

Hopefully, the officials will offer some sort of explanation as to what went wrong. Because while even some of the worst decisions can be debated, this one seems impossible to defend.

[Photo Credit: Pac-12 Network]

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