Quantcast

Morning links: Morgan Scalley is a genius, #Pac-12refs, Cottonwood High celebrates and more from the Alabama-Clemson game

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 12 2016 9:55 a.m. MST

Alabama running back Kenyan Drake (17) returns a kick off for a touchdown during the second half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Clemson Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. Alabama won 45-40.(AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Butch Dill, AP

The College Football Playoff National Championship Game between Alabama and Clemson featured two teams whose campuses are more than 1,500 miles from Utah, but a bevy of local connections played out on Twitter during the contest.

A look at five of them:

1. New Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley is a genius

Just a little more than 30 minutes before the game began, new Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley tweeted the following about special teams, which he coached for the Utes last season.

Through the first 49 minutes of Monday's game, the tweet didn't hold much significance, and the score was knotted at 24 apiece.

Then the Crimson Tide successfully executed a surprise onside kick, which led to a touchdown, giving Nick Saban's team the 31-24 advantage.

After a Tigers field goal made it 31-27, special teams showed up again, as Alabama's Kenyan Drake returned the kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, and Clemson couldn't rally back from there.

Following the two plays, Utah kicker Andy Phillips summarized what was happening with this tweet:

2. Locals chide Pac-12 officiating crew

For a few years now, Pac-12 game officials have been the target of a great deal of deserved criticism from the Twitterverse, with #Pac12Refs becoming a popular hashtag on the social media site.

With a crew from the conference officiating Monday's game, many were nervous there would be some questionable calls that could shape the contest's outcome.

While there was nothing that ended up being of too much significance on the zebra front, there were two instances that caught the ire of folks who are all too familiar with Pac-12 refs.

The first came right before halftime, as the Tigers got a first down but the clock didn't stop, forcing Clemson coach Dabo Swinney to call a timeout. The Tigers didn't score on the drive.

In the fourth quarter, Crimson Tide running back Derrick Henry appeared to cross the goal line for a touchdown, but it took the officials a good bit of time to decide, and then they reviewed the play.

Twitter reacted.

3. Cottonwood High alum Cooper Bateman wins title

One player from the Beehive State was part of Monday's game, as Cottonwood High School alum Cooper Bateman served as Alabama's backup quarterback, and multiple locals on Twitter noted the connection: