Utah thought they had a taken a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter in their upset bid of 4th-ranked Oregon.
Instead, Oregon was given a touchdown after the Utah receiver inexplicably dropped the ball before entering the endzone and the Ducks picked the ball up and returned it 100 yards for the game-tying score.
It started when everybody thought Utah had scored on a 79-yard touchdown pass to Kaelin Clay, including the Utah fans and even the announcers.
But while the players and fans were celebrating, something bizarre was happening on the field and only about three people had any idea.
Clay had clearly dropped the ball about one yard before entering the endzone.
Neither the back judge (standing on the goal line towards the middle of the field) nor the side judge (standing on the goal line out of bounds) signaled touchdown.
Oregon’s Erick Dargan (no. 4) saw the ball on the ground and appeared to notice that there was no touchdown signal. So he raced over to the ball, which has now rolled into the endzone, and he picked it up.
Even Dargan seemed unsure of what to do. When he picked up the ball he looked over at the side judge before attempting to run.
Amazingly, Utah almost got the ball back. With Dargan unsure what to do, a Utah player stripped the ball from the Oregon player and the ball fell to the ground free for anybody to pick up.
Meanwhile, Clay and two teammates are still celebrating in the back of the endzone.
But before Utah could get to the loose ball, linebacker Joe Walker (no. 35) picked up the ball.
He picked up a caravan of blockers as he raced towards the other end of the field. It wasn’t until about midfield that ESPN cameras picked up on what was going on. Up to this point, none of this was shown live and we only got to see the shenanigans in replays later.
Finally, 36.2 seconds after the ball was snapped, the referee ruled that Oregon had scored a touchdown.
Oregon went on to win 51-27. Here is the entire play.
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