A sure win for Oklahoma State turned into a shocking upset when a mistake by the officials on the Cowboys' last offensive snap gave Central Michigan one final chance to upset the 22nd-ranked Cowboys on Saturday afternoon.
Oklahoma State was flagged for a last second grounding penalty, and officials turned the ball over to Central Michigan for one final play, when Cooper Rush hit Jesse Kroll, who then lateraled to Corey Willis for the touchdown. Rules state that the game can not end on an accepted live-ball penalty, official Tim O'Dey of the Mid-American Conference, CMU's league, said.
God clearly listens to Rush, who completed an even more mind-boggling Hail Mary in last year's Bahamas Bowl.
Oklahoma State rolled out to a 14-0 lead in just the first quarter which made it seem early on as if the Cowboys were on their way to a 2-0 start to the season.
But the penalty stood, and Rush made sure his squad would not waste its final chance by taking what was available and trusting his teammates to make a play. According to Yahoo Sports, the NCAA rulebook states that a penalty on the offense allows the game to end, meaning that the game should have ended on Rudolph's incompletion. I think you announced it as a loss of down, even.
Officials marked off the penalty and awarded Central Michigan an untimed down - which the Chippewas took advantage of. As much time as we put into end of game situations that never really crossed my mind. The Chippewas will take their 2-0 record into a home tilt with UNLV next week, while the Cowboys will try to pick up the pieces in their final nonconference game with Pittsburgh.
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The second half started off slow until CMU stepped up with 5:10 to play in the third quarter to tie the game 17-17 when Cooper connected with Conklin for his second end zone appearance.
Central Michigan fans might have been having flashbacks to the Bahamas Bowl from two seasons ago, when the Chips covered nearly the length of the field on a long pass and lateral play to make it a one-point game with no time left against Western Kentucky.
Coach John Bonamego said: "It's an improbable finish, but it's a situation that we practiced and rehearsed".
It's not everyday we see a successful hail mary combined with a hook-and-ladder to win a game.
On the final play of regulation, Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph threw a pass out of bounds with no Cowboys in the area as time elapsed.