Swinney: Penalty on final TD should've been called on 'Bama
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Clemson coach Dabo Swinney says there should have been a foul called on the Tigers' game-winning touchdown against Alabama, and it should have been called on the Crimson Tide.
Swinney said Tuesday that there was defensive pass interference on Clemson receiver Artavis Scott, who made contact with his defender and created some traffic that another Alabama defensive back got caught in on Hunter Renfrow's 2-yard TD catch with a second left Monday night.
Clemson beat Alabama 35-31 in the College Football Playoff championship game to win its first national title since 1981.
''Yes, it's a rub play, it's a pick play,'' Swinney said. ''Artavis was actually trying to go pick the guy, but he couldn't get there because he got tackled. I mean, literally, the guy tackles him.''
Alabama players and fans did not quite see it that way, and thought Clemson should have been flagged for offensive pass interference.
''If you watch the ending, the slot receiver actually cut Minkah (Fitzpatrick),'' Alabama linebacker Tim Williams said. ''Usually, on a pick route, you're not supposed to chop somebody.''
Scott never made contact with Tony Brown, the defender who was guarding Renfrow. Brown had to go around Scott and Fitzpatrick, like a basketball player going over a screen, and who could not get there in time. Renfrow was wide open.
The official rule is this: Offensive pass interference by a Team A player beyond the neutral zone during a legal forward pass play in which a forward pass crosses the neutral zone is contact that interferes with a Team B eligible player. It is the responsibility of the offensive player to avoid the opponents.
''I mean, if you really watch the play, we never even got a chance to really rub the guy (Brown),'' Swinney said. ''But he had to play over the top. That's the way the play is designed.''
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