Utah drops ball before crossing goal line, Oregon returns it for a score
Welcome to #Pac12AfterDark. Be prepared to see the highly improbable.
Oregon's 51-27 win against Utah did not disappoint in that category. Utah quarterback Travis Wilson, replacing the injured Kendal Thompson, appeared to have completed a 78-yard touchdown pass to Kaelin Clay on his first throw of the second quarter.
One problem: Clay, clear path to the end zone and all, dropped the football before he crossed the goal line, a la DeSean Jackson against the Dallas Cowboys in 2008 -- oddly enough, both Jackson and Clay went to Long Beach Poly High School.
But while Jackson's gaffe just cost him a touchdown and not possession for his team (the ball was ruled dead at the 1-yard line), the consequences were much worse for the Utes. As Clay was celebrating with his teammates in the back of the end zone, Oregon safety Erick Dargan astutely picked up the football. He fumbled it on the goal line, but Ducks linebacker Joe Walker was there to scoop it up and run it 100 yards unchallenged for a 14-point swing.
#Pac12AfterDark, it’s real, and it’s amazing folks.
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) November 9, 2014
That’s a 178-yard, 14-point swing in Utah-Oregon.
— David Lombardi (@LombardiESPN) November 9, 2014
— Andy McNamara (@McNamaraUO) November 9, 2014
The replay officials took a few minutes to sort out with a replay because, hey, did that really just happen? The touchdown stood, and Oregon tied the game at 7 apiece early in the second quarter. That 14-point swing ended up being the difference in the game and Oregon clinched a spot in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game as winners of the Pac-12 North.