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Dr. Saturday

You make the call: Kick-catch interference or a fumble?

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Hindsight is always 20/20, especially with the benefit of instant replay from multiple angles, but some might argue this game could have easily been 7-3 or even 7-7 early.

During a Notre Dame punt, Alabama returner Christion Jones signaled for a fair catch at about the 25-yard line. Notre Dame’s Matthias Farley avoided contact with Jones by stepping to his left while Alabama’s Deion Belue hit Jones causing him to fumble (thanks to throwtheflagblog.com for the video).

Notre Dame fell on the ball and it appeared that fortune had turned the Irish's direction.

It had not.

[Game photos: Alabama and Notre Dame meet for BCS national title]

Officials called Farley for kick-catch interference and Alabama retained the ball and ultimately scored on the subsequent possession.

National coordinator of NCAA officials, Rogers Redding, said the call was correct, but Mike Pereira, a former vice president of officiating for the NFL and a current rules analyst for Fox Sports, disagreed by saying it looked like the defender gave the returner a 1-yard cushion by stepping to the side. Pereira later went back and forth about what was the right call in that situation.

So, you make the call. Were the officials correct or did Notre Dame deserve the ball?

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