‘Unfair’ end-of-game penalty among Nick Saban’s gripes with Iron Bowl officiating


 Alabama coach Nick Saban was critical of the officiating during Saturday's 48-45 loss on the road at Auburn, pointing to a penalty in the game's final seconds as well as a decision before halftime to put 1 second back on the clock that allowed the Tigers to kick a field goal.

Saban called it "unfair" that his team was given a penalty for too many men on the field on fourth-and-4 that gave Auburn a first down and effectively ended the game.

"I really feel that it was a pretty unfair play at the end of the game," Saban said. "They substituted the punter as a wide receiver, so we put the punt team in. And then when the quarterback was still in there we tried to put the defense back in. I thought they should have given us a little more time to substitute and get [Jaylen] Waddle out as a returner. We get called for 12 guys on the field. So that was very disappointing.

"We're responsible for that as coaches, but it was a very unusual circumstance to say the least. And I think that sometimes when you have those, it should be viewed that way."

Saban was also upset with a decision by officials to put 1 second back on the clock just before halftime after Auburn completed a first-down pass on the Alabama 34-yard line. Anders Carlson then made a 52-yard field goal to cut the Tide lead to four points.

"I don't know if I should tell you that," Saban said of the explanation he received from officials. "The guy beside me said, 'They won't be able to get [the kick] off anyway.' They waited and waited and waited and wound the clock and the guy snapped the ball kicked it, and they said it was good.

"I think you can snap the ball with a second to go in the game, but whether they did or didn't, that's not my judgment."

Regardless, Saban said his team didn't play well enough to win and that Auburn should get "a lot of credit."

#college, #football

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