SEC: Officials made right calls in Auburn-LSU clash

Updated: September 19, 2006, 2:39 PM ET
Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The Southeastern Conference determined that officials made the right decision in reversing a pass interference call late in the Auburn-LSU game.

Miles still disagrees with calls
LSU coach Les Miles still disagrees with penalty calls made in the fourth quarter of the Tigers' loss at Auburn -- even though the Southeastern Conference has ruled the calls were correct.

Miles said he "believes wholeheartedly" that the officials in the game were well-intended. But he "respectfully disagrees" with SEC supervisor of officials Rogers Redding, who has upheld six calls that went against LSU in the 7-3 Auburn win.

In particular, Miles is still perplexed by the reversal of a fourth-down pass interference call at the Auburn 16 yard line with 2:43 left in the fourth.

"If you have four red zone possessions and are a legitimate threat because you scored in 93 percent of those situations a year ago, it's clear that it may have affected the score," Miles told reporters Monday. "But we've had our day in court."

"They looked at the plays but didn't see them quite the way we looked at it, and now it's over."

-- news services

SEC coordinator of officials Rogers Redding said Monday the call was correct because the pass was made uncatchable, making the timing of the contact irrelevant.

Auburn defensive back Zach Gilbert was flagged for interfering with receiver Early Doucet deep in its own territory in the 7-3 win over No. 6 LSU. The flag was waved off because officials deemed that Eric Brock's tip of the ball made it uncatchable.

Redding said pass interference can be called if the ball is tipped after the contact occurs, as it appeared to on the.

However, he said, "it was more than a tip, it was a deflection of the ball so it made the ball uncatchable. A key part of the pass interference rule is whether or not the pass is uncatchable."

Another controversial fourth-quarter call that went Auburn's way was also correct, Redding said.

An LSU interception on third-and-29 was negated because Daniel Francis was penalized for interference on receiver Courtney Taylor, giving Auburn an automatic first down.

"The defender just basically ran through the receiver," Redding said. "He wasn't playing the ball. The ball was definitely catchable."

LSU coach Les Miles had complained after the game about both decisions, saying the interference on Taylor "didn't disable him from catching the ball."

Miles also said he believed the other play should have been pass interference because the ball was tipped downfield, not at the line of scrimmage.

The rule states only that an infraction occurs when the contact "could prevent the opponent the opportunity of receiving a catchable forward pass."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press