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UPDATED: Misunderstanding led to running clock in Louisville-FIU game

Ron Turner

Louisville completely obliterated Florida International Saturday afternoon, 72-0. The victory was every bit as dominating as the score might indicate. The box score only adds to it. The Cardinals only put together 464 yards of offense but the defense held FIU to just 30 yards of total offense. Heisman Trophy candidate Teddy Bridgewater passed for 212 yards and four touchdowns to highlight the day, but the game brought on a mild controversy as well. The game went to a running clock as Louisville was clearly on their way to a victory, and after the game there was some confusion as to who made the call to institute the running clock.

Louisville head coach Charlie Strong said the running clock was mutually agreed to at the beginning of the second half.

Florida International head coach Ron Turner told a different tale…

So just who was responsible for the decision to go with a running clock? It turns out it may have been the officials, who also appear to have done so against normal American Athletic Conference policies. Eric Crawford of WDRB in Louisville reports via Twitter the refs called the clock operators and asked for a running clock, taking it upon themselves to provide FIU with some mercy. The refs used hand signals to communicate with the clock operator.

According to Jonathan Lintner of Courier-Journal, citing an American official, teams may agree to shorten the length of a period but a running clock should not have been used.

The running clock in the college game is a rarity, but games like this nearly require it out of mercy. It was clear FIU had nothing to stop anything Louisville did, just as Florida A&M had no chance of stopping Ohio State up in Columbus. Regardless of how it came in to play, it’s good that it did. Louisville may have scored 90 if the clock stopped.

UPDATE (6:10 p.m.): Conference USA Coordinator of Officials Gerald Austin released a statement to clear up the confusion on the running clock situation (Conference USA officials were used in the game). In it Austin explains there was a misinterpretation by the game’s officials. The statement reads:

“Coach Turner made a comment to one of the officials that, given the amount of injuries and the limited numbers of players he had available, he wanted to run the ball in the second half. One official misinterpreted that comment. Coach Turner, at no time requested that the clock run. FIU threw just one pass in the second half.

After reviewing the tape there were five times that the clock should have been stopped and it did not. Four times were on first down and one play where the runner went out of bounds, based on a quick review of the video.”

So there you go. It was all just a big misunderstanding.

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7 Responses to “UPDATED: Misunderstanding led to running clock in Louisville-FIU game”
  1. elwaysagenius says: Sep 21, 2013 5:07 PM

    What’s it matter, it probably helped FIU save the little bit of dignity they still have

  2. 700levelvet says: Sep 21, 2013 5:09 PM

    Does it really matter?

  3. honkerdawg says: Sep 21, 2013 5:17 PM

    Maybe they should stop these slaughters once and for all. It’s about time the top 25 teams actually played a top 25 schedule the entire year

  4. atlfan31833 says: Sep 21, 2013 6:28 PM

    FIU’s coach isn’t going to admit that his team didn’t belong in the game and needed mercy. He would then lose all credibility next time his team plays against another big/good school.

  5. joerevs300 says: Sep 21, 2013 7:35 PM

    I agree, all of this is ridiculous.

    CFB has too many teams at the FBS level anyway that have no business being there.

    Without guaranteed games, the FCS teams would end up folding. It’s really that simple.

    My prediction is in 2-3 years, you will never see another upset like App. State over Michigan. Because the top 25/30 FBS teams will not play FCS teams due to the damage to SOS it will cause in the new bowl selection/ranking process.

  6. fatediesel says: Sep 21, 2013 8:05 PM

    I’ve got no sympathy for FIU. They had a quality coach in Mario Cristobal who took a terrible program and turned them into a respectable team and and then fired him after one subpar season and replaced him with a coach who had 2 winning seasons in 8 years at Illinois.

  7. onbucky96 says: Sep 22, 2013 5:06 AM

    Ron Turner has been a FAILURE at Illinois and Florida. Nice to see he’s taken his talents to FIU.

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