The biggest play of last night’s BCS Championship Game was a 37-yard-run by Auburn back Michael Dyer, where it appeared Dyer was tackled, but he got up and continued to run deep into Oregon territory.Dyer rolled over an Oregon defender, used his hand to regain his balance, then stood up and continued the run. Officials ruled that the rest of Dyer’s body never touched the ground, so the play was never over.
That play put Auburn in field goal range for the eventual game-winning kick.
A video replay review confirmed the referee’s ruling that only Dyer’s hand touched the ground, meaning that he was not down by contact and the play should have continued.
But should it have?
We just saw this AP photo of Dyer — taken by photographer Charlie Riedel — and it appears that more than Dyer’s foot was touching the ground. His ankle and part of his lower leg appear to be on the turf.
NCAA Rule 4-1-3b states that a live ball becomes dead: “When any part of the ball carrier’s body, except his hand or foot, touches the ground or when the ball carrier is tackled or otherwise falls and loses possession of the ball as he contacts the ground with any part of his body, except his hand or foot.”
The question is: Where does the foot end and the ankle begin? The ankle tape that completely covers Dyer’s shoes and socks obscures the truth, but take a look at the close up:
It’s a tough call. Almost impossible to tell from live action or video replays. Even this photo is not 100% definitive.
But if you ask us … he was down. (Here’s another that shows his wrist might have been down, too.) What do you think?
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