Penn State managed to overcome a physical effort from the visiting Aubrun Tiger son Saturday night. Penn State also overcame faulty officiating by the SEC officials working the game.
In the second quarter, SEC officials mistakenly cost Penn State a third down after not changing the down marker following a (questionable) intentional grounding penalty on Sean Clifford. Franklin was outraged over the lost down. And by the time the officials working the game realized the mistake, it was too late.
The SEC issued the following statement admitting the officials and the replay booth all mismanaged the situation;
At 11:45 in the 2nd quarter, Penn State throws an incomplete pass that was judged to be Intentional Grounding. The crew’s enforcement of the penalty erroneously set the down to 3rd; the correct down should have been 2nd. The replay booth was consulted to confirm the down prior to the punt. The replay booth had the down as 4th down as well.
The error was discovered during the media timeout that followed the punt and by rule it could not be corrected at that time.
In the end, it did not matter as Penn State still managed to celebrate a win. But perhaps the SEC now owes Penn State an extra down in a future game.
Penn State visits Auburn next season, although it is expected Big Ten officials will be calling that game as part of the contract for the home-and-home series.