The replay official would have had some action Saturday during The Citadel’s 31-25 victory over the Bucs at William B. Greene Jr. Stadium.
There were a few calls that would have been reviewed, and from the looks of videos of the plays, a few would have almost certainly been overturned.
After taking over at The Citadel’s 22-yard line thanks to a bad snap on a punt, the Bucs scored on their first play when Austin Herink hit Vincent Lowe with a touchdown pass.
Lowe caught the ball at the 1-yard line and rolled into the end zone. An official looking at the replay might have placed the ball just inside the 1.
In the second quarter, Lowe went up high to haul in a pass near the ETSU sideline and appeared to get one foot down before tumbling out of bounds. One official signaled a catch. Another overruled and said Lowe was out of bounds.
“When we played James Madison, there was a lot of reviews,” Lowe said. “When the play happened I asked if they could review it. I had my foot down. At the end of the day, whatever the ref calls is what goes. You can’t sit here and argue. You don’t want to get a stupid penalty.”
Neither play was reviewable. Among SoCon teams, only The Citadel and Mercer use replay at their home games. The conference has given the rest of the schools until 2019 to put instant replay into effect.
“I remember at SoCon media day, I think I made a comment that there’s going to be a game where a pivotal play happens and we’d want it replayed or we didn’t,” Herink said. “Hopefully we don’t have that happen again, but you’d like to see that reviewed.”
Reminded that a review would have likely cost him a touchdown pass, Herink said “That would have been first and goal on the 1 and I like our chances there.”
The last time Southern Conference Commissioner John Iamarino saw the site of what is now William B. Greene Jr. Stadium, it was an asphalt parking lot.
On Saturday, Iamarino visited East Tennessee State University’s new football facility and came away impressed.
“Fantastic,” Iamarino said as he surveyed the action with 7,544 fans in attendance. “It’s very fan-oriented, a great space. You can see the mountains. You can see the campus. The press box is gorgeous. A lot of foresight, I think, went into it.”
Iamarino recalled driving near the stadium site with ETSU President Brian Noland a couple of years ago.
“He kind of pointed this out and said, ‘That’s where we think the site is going to be,’ ” Iamarino said. “And to see it here finished two years later, it’s great not only for ETSU, it’s great for the Southern Conference.
“The seating is terrific. We’re here on a beautiful day. We’ve got a great crowd. I just think this is going to be a jewel of the conference.”
Defense doesn’t rest
Dylan Weigel had 19 tackles for ETSU on a day where there were plenty of tackles to go around. It was the 18th double-digit tackle game for the junior linebacker.
With The Citadel running the ball 72 times — for 331 yards — the Bucs’ defense was busy.
River Boruff added 14 tackles and Kaman Cooper had 13.
Nasir Player packed the stat sheet with eight tackles, two for loss. He also caused a fumble and a blocked field goal.
Paul Hunter intercepted a pass for the Bucs. The senior safety has two interceptions in the first three games.
Since football was brought back at ETSU three years ago, no player has had more than two interceptions in a season.
The Citadel scored on its final four possessions to earn the 500th victory in program history.
ETSU has been the victim 11 times in those 500 wins. The Bucs still hold a 15-11 lead in the series.
Just for kicks
ETSU kicked JJ Jerman booted a 46-yard field goal and two extra points. He has 47 extra points in his career, ranking seventh all-time on the ETSU list.