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Both Clemson, GT used illegal plays

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

I was working on a mailblog for today, and came across this question, which I thought deserved a separate post:

Justin in Clemson, S.C., writes: Heather, I was reading your noon headlines and read the article in The State about Swinney finding positives in our loss to GT. But at the bottom of the article it talked about Swinney discussing with the ACC if GT's fake field goal wasd legal. I was wondering if the ACC determined it was not legal, could the ACC give that win to Clemson since the play scored a touchdown and without it GT would have lost the game?

Heather Dinich: ACC officials reviewed it this week, and determined that two plays should have been flagged for violating a rule prohibiting substitution tactics that may confuse opponents. As it turns out, Georgia Tech wasn't the only guilty party.

The play everyone is talking about resulted in a 34-yard touchdown pass on a fake field goal for the Jackets in the first quarter; the other resulted in a 37-yard pass for Clemson late in the third quarter that got the ball inside the red zone on a drive that ultimately tied the score.

According to NCAA rule 9-2-2-b: “No simulated replacements or substitutions may be used to confuse opponents. No tactic associated with substitutes or the substitution process may be used to confuse opponents.”

The late ruling won't change the outcome of that game, it was just part of the officials' training tape this week, and will be used to teach the coaches and officials to prevent it from happening again.