Has college football been providing us with some crazy finishes, or what? From the Michigan State-Michigan fumbled punt, to the Georgia Tech-Florida State blocked kick, to the controversial Miami-Duke eight-lateral play, we have enjoyed a myriad of mind-blowing moments.
We got another one Saturday, or actually a few, in a wild sequence that saw Arkansas come back from the grave to hand No. 19 Mississippi a shocking loss in overtime, 53-52. The Rebels had scored first in the extra session, and things looked decidedly bleak for the Razorbacks when they were faced with a fourth-and-25 situation on the ensuing possession.
Then this happened:
That’s Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen completing a pass to tight end Hunter Henry, who had the presence of mind to flip the ball backwards as he was being tackled well short of the first down. The ball was tipped, hit the ground and then was scooped up by Razorbacks running back Alex Collins, who ran for the first down but fumbled at the end of the play, only to have teammate Dominique Reed recover the ball.
Whew! However, there was still the matter of getting into the end zone, which Arkansas accomplished on a nine-yard pass from Allen to wide receiver Drew Morgan.
Perhaps sensing a chance to take advantage of a stunned and demoralized Ole Miss defense, Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema decided to go for the two-point conversion, setting up a play that would decide the game either way.
Except that the play, in which Allen was tackled for a loss that appeared to seal a Rebels win, resulted in a roughing-the-passer call for grabbing the facemask.
Given a spot even closer to the end zone, it was a no-brainer for Bielema to go for two again, and this time, Allen ran it in to end things in his team’s favor.
The loss dealt the Rebels a major blow in their quest for the SEC West title and a possible shot at a berth in the College Football Playoff. But it provided college football fans (outside of Oxford, at least) with still more thrills in a season that had already offered more than its fair share.