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Alabama fans have a legit complaint about this Ole Miss pop pass TD

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Chad Kelly's got that body control, but the Rebels still could have been flagged.

ESPN

Ole Miss was reeling, having given up two straight touchdowns to Alabama. Then Chad Kelly hit an open receiver on a "pop" pass — a play that has killed Alabama time and again — for a seismic touchdown.

But the play was flagged as an illegal forward pass. Was it one?

No. No, it was not. Kelly's body would have to be entirely across the line of scrimmage before he threw the pass for it to be assessed as an illegal forward pass. And that ruling was overturned on replay, giving the Rebels a touchdown.

Of course, though, Ole Miss does have an offensive lineman about five yards downfield — you can see him, No. 70, helpfully circled here.

And that's a no-no. It very rarely gets called, but that deserved a flag for an illegal man downfield — the NCAA rulebook specifies that linemen can't be more than three yards downfield on passing plays. The selective enforcement of that rule has driven college coaches nuts as spread offenses and read option plays have proliferated in recent years.

Not that it's likely to be any consolation to Alabama fans tonight.