Alabama vs. Georgia Officiating Crew: What Monday’s Referees Mean for Bettors
Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Nick Saban (left) and a referee.
- Collin Wilson doesn't leave anything unturned as he also explores the officiating game for Georgia-Alabama.
- The head referee an ACC official who is ranked ninth in defensive flags per 100 plays.
- So, what does the officiating crew truly mean for national title bettors?
No stone goes unturned in National Championship previews, including a handicap on the officials.
There have been instances of crews that favor targeting, personal fouls, and of course, pass interference. These are all momentum-swinging events in the college football game that can change the direction on the scoreboard.
Handicapping an officiating crew could lead to a hidden advantage in predicting pace, available yards and whether the game could go sideways.
The head referee for Alabama vs. Georgia is Duane Heydt, an ACC official who is ranked ninth in defensive flags per 100 plays.
The penalty yards per game rank in the top 30, but more important is his tendency to call personal fouls. Heydt called 27 personal fouls this season, averaging more than two per game.
Another large area of flags come on defensive pass interference.
Heydt has the third-highest rate of all Power Five officials when it comes to pass interference, throwing 47 this season for an average of 3.6 per game. This should be an area for concern for investors on the side of the Crimson Tide, as Alabama ranks 124th in penalty yards this season. In comparison, Georgia ranks just 15th in penalties per game.
Line judge Steve Matarante is an ACC official and has had his run-ins with head coaches before, none more famous than a Bo Pelini outburst that cost 10 dimes.
Back Judge Keith Parham was fired from the NFL after the 2014 season. Side judge Jeff Shears has been calling ACC games for nearly a decade without incident, while field judge Ryan Flynn and head linesman Matt Fitzgerald have called ACC games without incident.
There are not many referees who have petitions for suspension, but Heydt is guaranteed to drop laundry on the field against the defenses in this game.
With a high rate among Power Five peers, expect defensive pass interference and personal fouls to extend drives for Georgia and/or Alabama.
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