USC was dominant in the first half of their road game against Arizona State, but the Sun Devils threw up a Hail Mary and had their prayer answered by the Pac-12 instant replay crew working the game. It all made for a weird ending to the half that saw both teams having to scramble back on the field and the marching band off the field for an extra point kick.

On the final play of the half, Arizona State quarterback Manny Wilkins heaved one 47 yards in the air to the end zone, where Kyle Williams managed to secure the ball with a good show of concentration as he was falling to the ground. The play, however, was marked down shy of the end zone and the half supposedly came to a close with USC up 31-3.

As the teams accepted the fate of the call on the field, both USC and Arizona State began making their way to their respective locker rooms thinking halftime had arrived. But wait just a moment, because this one was too close to call and the Pac-12 instant replay officials gave it a close look. And they looked it over for a little while, leaving USC head coach Clay Helton a bit annoyed.

After giving it some thought and breaking down all of the available footage and angles, it was determined the catch was actually made inside the end zone, awarding the Sun Devils a touchdown. It is worth noting here that the ESPN broadcast never showed a replay angle that seemed to conclusively confirm the catch was made across the goal line, so one has to wonder just what magical angles were made available to the replay crew that felt there was enough video evidence to overturn the call on the field in favor of the Sun Devils. This is a clear moment where goal line cameras should be mandatory in every stadium, yet for some reason, we still have not reached that point. Maybe it was a good call, maybe it wasn’t. We may never know for sure with conclusive enough evidence, so I suppose it was a good call. That’s how this works, right?

In any event, with the call overturned, there needed to be a point-after attempt by Arizona State, which mean the band getting ready for halftime had to scatter off the field and sideline and players needed to work their way back on the field.

And yes, even players not at all necessary for this extra-point attempt came back on the field. Moral support for your teammates, I suppose?

When all was settled, USC went to halftime up 31-10.


About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.