Troy pulled off one of the biggest wins in school history Saturday night by beating No. 25 LSU in Baton Rouge, 24-21.
But things could’ve played out differently if the Trojans didn’t get a chance to kick a 37-yard field goal at the end of the first half. With time running out in the second quarter, Troy connected on a strike across the middle of the field, but the clock ran to 0:00 and both teams headed to the locker rooms with the Trojans up 7-0.
But wait. Troy head coach Neal Brown was furious with officials, arguing time ran out after the final play.
And he was right. A review revealed the knee of Troy wide receiver John Johnson hit the turf with about two seconds left in the half.
Officials determined two seconds needed to be put back on the clock, forcing both teams to come back out of the locker room for a final play in the second quarter.
Teams coming back on the field as Troy may get a fg attempt pic.twitter.com/adrktaduLS— Michael Cauble (@MichaelCauble) October 1, 2017
Troy freshman kicker Evan Legassey did just enough on the 37-yard attempt, bouncing it off the bottom of the crossbar to record the first successful field goal of his collegiate career.
But the Trojans might have benefitted from the game clock mistake.
In college football games, the clock stops after first downs until the chains are reset on the sideline and players have time to reach the line. With no timeouts in hand, Troy would’ve had to get the snap and try to spike the ball in less than two seconds.
That’s not impossible, but it would’ve been challenging, to say the least. Had the game clock not been stopped at two seconds in the first place, even the smallest miscommunication or mishandle would’ve meant only a 7-0 lead at halftime for Troy, rather than 10-0.
With LSU losing by a field goal Saturday, that extra play looms large, although Troy probably would’ve handled the final minutes of the fourth quarter differently if it didn’t have an extra three points to work with.