- Fox Sports 1
Oklahoma State thought it had survived Saturday’s football matchup against Central Michigan when it ran out the clock leading 27-24. But that’s just when the craziness started, and now it seems the officials cost the Cowboys the game.
Mayhem started when Oklahoma State had the ball and was facing a fourth down with less than 10 seconds to go. Quarterback Mason Rudolph threw a long pass downfield as the clock ran out.
But as all the players started to go on to the field, thinking the game was over, the officials were discussing a penalty.
It turns out the pass was illegal because no receivers were downfield. It was ruled intentional grounding.
The officials met at the middle of the field and determined that the game would be extended with one untimed down, since the game cannot end on a penalty.
- Fox Sports 1
This gave the ball to Central Michigan for one play, from its own 49-yard line, with no time on the clock.
Sure enough, Central Michigan threw a Hail Mary pass that was caught inside the 10-yard line. But just when it seemed as if the receiver would be tackled short of the end zone, he lateraled the ball to wide receiver Corey Willis, who ran all the way to the other side of the field and just got into the end zone before being tackled.
Central Michigan wins!
But should it have? Apparently not.
According to Mike Pereira of Fox Sports, the officials erred in giving Central Michigan an extra play in the first place.
While a game cannot end on an accepted penalty, the rule book does have an exception.
“The rule book does state that you don’t extend for an offensive penalty if the offensive penalty includes loss of down, which the intentional grounding did,” Pereira said. “We are looking at a misenforced penalty here in extending the game when it shouldn’t have been extended period.”
Pereira went on to quote Rule 3-2-2: “The period is not extended if the foul is by the team in possession and the statement of the penalty includes loss of down.”
At this point it is unclear which steps Oklahoma State can take. In one sense, it would be easy for officials to just erase the last play because you can clearly define how the game would have ended otherwise. But Pereira was doubtful that anything could be done because another play was run.