There were just 29 seconds left in the game at that point, but it appeared that the Penguins would at least have a shot at tying things up. However, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty pushed YSU back 15 yards, and two incomplete passes were followed by a sack.
That left YSU with a fourth-and-33 from its own 7-yard line, at which point it was hit with yet another unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. That simply added insult to injury in what would turn out to be a painfully close loss, but the worst thing was that both penalties were called on Pelini himself, who was upset at a pass-interference call on the previous series that helped NDSU score the game-winning touchdown.
The coach had been jawing at officials from the sideline at many points during the game, and apparently they decided they’d had enough, punishing Pelini at a crucial moment. “They didn’t like the way I was talking to them.” Pelini said afterwards.
Not surprisingly, the popular Twitter account Faux Pelini — created during his Nebraska days but sticking around to chronicle the coach’s Youngstown State era — had a field day.
It was a frustrating loss in many ways for Pelini, whose Penguins led 14-3 at halftime and 24-10 after three quarters. Here is footage of Pelini’s post-game comments.