We've all seen the play. The one where Auburn's running back bursts through the line, is seemingly tackled, gets up and runs for another 20-plus yards. It got the Tigers in field goal range immediately ... and they indeed won on a field goal as time expired.
Let me first say that it was the proper call. The runner hadn't been ruled down by contact so the play should've continued.
The problem I have is the culture foorball has created which allowed that play to happen. They always tell you to play until the whistle blows. That, my friends, is a lie.
Defenses can't catch a break. If they play until the whistle blows and hit a QB a second too late, it's a flag. If you play until the whistle bows as you are running full speed at a ball-carrier who is tip toeing along the sideline ... then steps out just before he gets hit. That's a flag.
If the Oregon defender in pretty much any circumstance jumped on the back like he didn't do in the BCS title game, it would be a flag. Defenders are now conditioned to pull up at the end of plays or risk a 15-yd penalty. Ten years ago that wasn't a problem.
Now I'm not saying late hits are cool. They aren't and all that extra crap at the end of plays needs to be penalized. But if you do that, you have to have something in there that if the runner acts like he was tackled ... blow the whistle. He may not be down by the letter of the law ... but for the defense's sake, rule him down. The only reason the runner didn't know he wasn't down was because the Auburn sideline yelled at him to keep running.
What is a Duck to do?