Though USC Football was ultimately able to pull out a win against Arizona one week after dropping their first game of the year to 20th-ranked Utah, USC needed to make a statement to keep their chances of making it to the Pac 12 championship alive when the season comes to an end. Sure, the team’s contest against 12th-ranked UCLA is the game many Trojans fans have circled on their schedules, but any slip-up could be the difference between a lesser bowl game and a shot at something very interesting indeed.

But what if the fate of USC wasn’t decided by their on-field efforts but instead an error caused by the officiating crew, as that’s almost what happened at the end of the first half. When asked about why the referees seemingly blew it so hard when the Trojans were trying to get some last-minute points on the board during their final drive, Lincoln Riley didn’t hold back, as transcribed by the LA Times USC beat writer Ryan Kartje.

“At the end of the half, it was a little scrambled. And I honestly didn’t give them a lot of time for an explanation. Then after, we talked. They admitted it. They messed it up. My question was, if you messed it up, why wasn’t it ‘Stop play and review it’? The explanation given to me at the beginning of the third quarter was they obviously didn’t handle it properly. But anybody know that watching it.”

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While all’s well that ends well, as the Trojans pulled out the W without too much issue, if things got close or worse, and they lost to an unranked Arizona, the controversy among USC Football fans would have been incredible.