The Arkansas Razorbacks had an opportunity to avoid their 30-28 loss to the Auburn Tigers Saturday during a botched spike play.
On third-and-1 from the Razorbacks’ 19-yard line, Tigers quarterback Bo Nix intended to spike the ball to stop the clock with 28 seconds left in the game. Instead, he fumbled the snap and appeared to throw a backwards pass in an attempt to spike it and stop the clock. Hogs defensive back Joe Foucha recovered the loose ball.
With the Razorbacks leading 28-27, the takeaway would have allowed Arkansas to kneel out the clock and beat Auburn.
However, the ruling on the field was Nix committed intentional grounding after fumbling the snap, which resulted in a loss of down, a 10-second runoff, but didn’t jeopardize the Tigers’ chance to hit a game-winning field goal.
“I don’t know, they said it was a fumble, a backwards pass but they blew the whistle before we recovered the ball so they couldn’t review it, I guess,” Razorbacks coach Sam Pittman told reporters after the loss. “That’s the explanation I got.”
Hogs defensive back Jalen Catalon thought Foucha at least made a great play in covering up the ball in the even the play was overturned upon booth review to being a fumble.
“We thought he had threw it backwards once he received the ball, and Joe Foucha did a good job of getting on top of it,” Catalon said. “We thought it was a fumble, but sometimes the game doesn’t bounce your way, and that’s what it was.”
For the redshirt freshman from Mansfield, Texas, the Hogs have to accept the unfavorable results and move on to their home game against the Ole Miss Rebels Oct. 17.
“We got to swallow one,” Catalon said. “It’s a tough one to swallow, but we got to swallow it, get back in the film room, and get ready for Ole Miss next week.”