Syracuse Football: Lack of consistency in officiating is totally inexcusable

Syracuse football (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)
Syracuse football (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) /

In the wake of Syracuse football dropping its first game of the 2022 season at Clemson on Saturday afternoon, Twitter has blown up regarding the officiating in this 27-21 victory for the Tigers in Death Valley.

I get it. The officiating wasn’t consistent. Officials are human. The Orange got screwed on at least one non-call, and if a call had been made, a ‘Cuse offensive drive would have gotten extended.

Did the officials cost the Orange (6-1) this game? I adamantly say no, and some Syracuse football fans agree with me.

Conversely, some ‘Cuse fans believe that the referees, with their lack of consistent officiating, helped provide Clemson with momentum that, ultimately, drove the Tigers (8-0) to a conquest of Syracuse football.

Either way, the officiating has to get cleaned up, for the benefit of Syracuse football and its peers.

This exciting Atlantic Coast Conference clash occurred at Memorial Stadium. It was homecoming for Clemson on Saturday. The Tigers are the crème of the crop in the ACC, they have the nation’s longest winning streak, and they haven’t fallen at home in a long, long time.

So, naturally, after the Orange lost to Clemson by six points after holding a lead for much of Saturday afternoon, given some suspect officiating, a contingent of Syracuse football fans suggested, rather loudly, that stakeholders in college football want the Tigers to go undefeated in college football and make the College Football Playoff, for reasons such as television ratings, television revenue and the like.

These fans say that Clemson is a premier brand in college football, and the Orange is not. Thus, favorable officiating helped the Tigers prevail, to keep the status quo in the ACC.

What’s more, an ongoing (and tired) narrative from some fans is that Syracuse football and other ‘Cuse sports continually get screwed by officials, the media and others because Syracuse University is a Northeast school suiting up in the ACC, whose membership includes a lot of schools further south.

I’ll always respect my fellow fans’ opinions, but I also think that the above arguments and “conspiracy theories” are flat-out wrong.

Without question, the officials dropped the ball when they called a roughing-the-passer penalty on Syracuse football, and then didn’t call one on Clemson when it seemed pretty clear to me that a Tigers defender shoved ‘Cuse quarterback Garrett Shrader after he was already out of bounds.

The unfortunate penalty against the Orange kept a Clemson drive going, and the Tigers would score a touchdown. If that same sort of penalty was called against Clemson, it would have kept a Syracuse football drive going, and maybe the Orange, too, could have scored points.

However, while undeniably and unbelievably frustrating, that sequence of events didn’t lose this ACC affair for Syracuse football. The Orange committed way too many penalties in the second half.

The ‘Cuse had multiple offensive series after halftime but didn’t score a single point in the third and fourth quarters. All-American running back Sean Tucker only had five carries in the entire game.

Yes, the MOB defense was awesome. And Syracuse football owned a 4-1 edge in the turnover department. Yet after halftime, the Orange forced two turnovers, and that resulted in exactly zero points.

It’s easy and lazy to blame the officiating. Trust me, that non-call on a Clemson defender hitting Shrader out of bounds was total BS.

To reiterate, officials are human. To me, they have a thankless job. They have to be more consistent in doing their jobs, without question. Syracuse football got hosed on that one non-call, and perhaps others.

But the social media firestorm over the officiating is a bit out of bounds, from my perspective. The Orange had numerous opportunities to put points on the board in the second half, and the ‘Cuse failed to do so.

Next. Syracuse Football: Despite loss, Orange showed it can hang with big boys. dark