Bob Davie said repeatedly while the play was being replayed that ESPN's slowmo showed there was 1 second left on the clock when the spike hit the turf.
The Head Referee in his explanation said specifically that 1 second was shown on the replay when the ball was spiked.
The penalty was a separate issue. Because is was "too many men on the field" rather than a pre snap illegal participation for "too many men in the huddle", had the replay showed the clock at zero when the ball was spiked, the penalty could not have had time placed back on the clock, because it was a post snap offensive penalty. Tenn would have been able to decline the penalty and the game would have ended. TN accepted the penalty because the 1 second was placed back on solely because of the snap and it left them with no choice but to back UNC up 5 yards and hope for a miss.
Further proof that the 1 second was put on for the spike and not a pre snap penalty is the very fact that only 1 second was put back on, rather than 5 seconds as would have been the case in a too many men in the huddle pre-snap penalty.
The only way an offensive penalty can halt the last play of the game is if it is a pre snap penalty. All other offensive penalties can be declined by the defense and game is over.
You cannot call or enforce a penalty after the fact by using instant replay.
As I said, this exact thing occurred in the LSU-TENN game. The SEC said that is a reviewable call.
Tell me how an official can watch the clock and a guy spike the ball and know when it touched the ground and what the clock said.
This is a reviewable call. The replay official has full ability to look at the replay and ascertain if time was left when the ball hit the ground.
This same thing happened in the Nebraska-Texas game last year.