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Counterpoint: Amarri Jackson Did Not Push Off

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After cruching the numbers, I am pleased to announce that Amarri Jackson did not push off.

West Virginia v South Florida
Pictured: Amarri Jackson, doing something other than pushing off.

Today is a big day here at The Daily Stampede. First off, SB Nation has put together an amazing piece on the wild 2007 college football season, which everyone should absolutely check out. Carl then argued that 2007 nostalgia is actually terrible for the USF fan base, and that Bulls fans should live in the present.

This is a very well-reasoned, nuanced take from Carl, but he forgets one key thing: Amarri Jackson did not push off.

“What does that have to do with anything?” you ask. “What does that even mean?”

The answer, my friends, is a long story that definitely has not occupied the entirety of my brain since October of 2007.

I am, in fact, entirely unperturbed by this topic.

It has definitely not haunted me like the ghost of a dear friend for years, silently taunting me in the corner of every room I step into for the rest of my days.

I can confirm that the words “Amarri Jackson” and “offensive pass interference” do not send me into a deep, neverending spiral of tears.

I don’t even know who Amarri Jackson is.

Can anything truly be said to exist? Are we all one day doomed to exit this plane of being in a flash of glory, like an undefeated record and a number two national ranking vanishing into the New Jersey night sky with one toss of a yellow flag?

Sorry, where was I? Oh, yeah. Amarri Jackson 100% did not push off. Here is why.

For those who have forgotten or those who are blissfully unaware, USF was ranked second in the nation in 2007 when they took their 6-0 record to Piscataway to take on Rutgers on a Thursday night. What followed was a pretty wacky and fantastic game if you were a neutral viewer, and a game that made you want to tear your hair out and scream like Beaker the Muppet for hours if you were not a neutral viewer.

What most USF fans have chosen to remember from this game is the infamous Illegal Forward Propulsion call, which makes sense! It’s an unusual call and it took seven points off the board for the Bulls. But it was not the most flagrant referee decision that night. Observe:

USF is down 30-27 and faces a nearly insurmountable 4th and 22 from their own territory, with less than a minute left on the clock. Matt Grothe throws up a beautiful back-shoulder fade to Amarri Jackson, who gently places his hands on a defender’s back, pivots, and catches the ball for a first down, putting USF in position for a game-tying field goal.

Except the referees called offensive pass interference on Jackson. Which would be all well and good, except for the fact that Amarri Jackson didn’t push off.

You may say that football is a game of inches, and that the call could have gone either way. You may say that referees will call OPI on a receiver putting his hands on a defender’s back 95% of the time, whether or not there’s an actual push. You may say Amarri extended both hands and that’s the Michael Irvin rule. You may say that Jackson could have easily caught the ball without initiating any contact with the defensive back, so he really deserved any call that he got.

That’s nice. I say that Amarri Jackson did not push off, USF defeated Rutgers and is undefeated forever.