William Correro column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Florida/LSU game was the “event”

Florida at LSU ended up being just the “event” every sports-type media person figured it would be.

With ESPN’s Game Day set just north of the stadium, game day Saturday was wild even before daybreak. When we came in about two hours before kickoff, the grounds surrounding the stadium were solid people. I have been in many big games down there but I have never seen it like that.

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They were all yelling as we got out of the police vans; well, cheering really, and that was strange. I’m thinking it was more because these vans have “prisoner transfer” on the side.

They weren’t cheering for us at halftime when the home team was behind in the score. I can guarantee you.

But it was an incredible atmosphere and the game was just as good to us. Another official in the game came up through the same Division II league I did years ago and we had a good laugh thinking back to some of those games.

One coach in a game years ago had made the comment to him that the “game was too big for you.” Looking around and seeing all of eight hundred packed into the stands, it almost got the best of my friend. Like I always say: you never know what a coach will come up with next.

We had a situation in the second quarter where Florida was making some substitutions on offense before a play. They were in their huddle when an extra player ran off toward his bench.

The LSU coaches were begging for a flag for the 12 on the field and I explained to them how that only becomes a foul if they break the huddle going toward the line for the play with 12. That is a dead ball foul for five yards that was added several years ago.

The idea was with all the specialized players teams have these days and how they will sub for a particular player combination by the other team; unfair advantages were being gained with last-second substitutions.

This rule allows a defense more time to make their changes before the play. We can also have situations where we hold the snap to give the offense a few extra seconds to make adjustments for last-second defensive subs.

Some teams will even have one special defensive player who is only in the game when a particular offensive player is on the field for the other team.

Again we broke a crowd record for Tiger Stadium or Death Valley: 92,910 very loud people in one place with over 50,000 more outside who couldn’t get in. What a way to play some football.