Instant Replay Arrives in Athens

Posted Sep 17, 2005

ATHENS — Georgia wide receiver Kenneth Harris is a big fan of instant replay after its first ever appearance in a Georgia football game. Louisiana-Monroe coach Charlie Weatherbie and cornerback Eddie Webb are not.

That’s after Harris was awarded a 31-yard reception that finally swung momentum the Bulldogs’ way during a 44-7 victory. Webb came away from the play with the ball after both players fell to the ground during the catch.

Two officials signaled immediately that the Indians had the ball, but a third official then changed the call on the field and ruled it Georgia’s ball.

“We had two come in and signal interception and then one came from the back and says no,” Weatherbie said. “Then you see it on the (scoreboard) video screen and it shows an interception, so I don’t understand.”

The replay official saw something different than Weatherbie, and ruled there was not enough evidence to overturn the call on the field. Both players involved expressed confidence they had the ball.

“I wasn’t going to let him take it away from me,” Harris said. “I had it wrapped up pretty good.”

Said Webb: “I had control of it when I rolled over. I had control of it the whole way. I had it clearly, and I felt a little cheated.”

Bulldogs coach Mark Richt said he though the original change of the call on the field was a reversal based on replay.

“I said, ‘Wow, that was quick,’” he said, adding he thought the final call was correct based on what he saw on Georgia’s high-resolution scoreboard screen.

Perhaps the most surprising part of the play was how crucial it was. The No. 7 Bulldogs were 38-point favorites coming in, but led just 20-7 at the time (4:31 left in the third quarter). The Bulldogs scored on the next play.

“I don’t understand that call,” Weatherbie said. “We get that call and we’ve got a chance.”

The officials went to the replay again later in the game to confirm that Hawkinsville’s Charles Johnson had recovered a fumble for a touchdown.

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