Blaming a loss on the refs is a mug’s game, one that I refuse to play, but, damn, this penalty hurt.
Besides the obvious momentum change that ensued, I feel especially bad for Simmons.
Simmons, for his part, initially said he “mistimed” his run at the punt. He blamed himself prior to seeing the replay. He was clearly frustrated. A sophomore receiver, Simmons had just three catches this season, and sought to make an impact on special teams.
For a few moments, he did.
“I knew it was close coming off the ball,” he said. “I’ve just got to take advantage and stuff like that. I get very few opportunities and I’ve got to take advantage.”
For what it’s worth, watching the play unfold live, I get why the official threw the flag. Simmons’ hesitation basically invited it, even though it was a bad call. Them’s the breaks, I guess.