The ending of the Old Dominion game against Western Kentucky was incredibly bizarre. Old Dominion won 37-34 with 10 points in the game’s final nine seconds and it took three untimed downs for the Monarchs to pull out the improbable victory.
Allow me to explain.
• After ODU tied the score at 27 apiece, Western Kentucky marched 80 yards in 10 plays and went in front, 34-27, on a two-yard touchdown run by Gino Appleberry Jr. with 1:37 left in regulation.
On the ensuing possession, Old Dominion worked its way all the way down the field and tied the score at 34 with nine seconds remaining.
From there, it looked like the game was destined for overtime, Instead, things got very, very weird.
• Following the kickoff, Western Kentucky regained possession at its own 30-yard line. On first down, WKU handed it off to Garland LaFrance for a gain of 15 yards and called timeout hoping to attempt some sort of gadget or Hail Mary play.
Davis Shanley dropped back to pass and looked for Marcus Floyd over the middle, but the pass fell incomplete as time expired. However, there was a flag on the play. A roughing the passer penalty was called on ODU’s Pat Toal.
• The penalty gave Western Kentucky one more play via an untimed down. Mike Sanford opted to send out his field goal unit for a 57-yard try. That distance proved to be too much for Alex Rinella, whose kick fell well short.
But there was another stoppage. The referees announced that the play was under review before announcing that Old Dominion had 12 men on the field. That five-yard penalty would give WKU yet another untimed down, and a shorter field goal.
• This time, Rinella tried from 52 yards out. Only this time, ODU put Isaiah Harper in the end zone in case the try fell short yet again. That proved to be a wise decision.
The kick fell right into the arms of Harper, who followed a wall of blockers 83 yards, only to be pushed out around the 15-yard line.
• Crisis averted for WKU, right? Wrong. WKU was flagged for a facemask penalty, moving ODU half the distance to the goal — the eight-yard line — for a third untimed down.
The penalty set up a chip shot field goal for ODU’s Nick Rice.
His 26-yard try was good, and the Monarchs capped off one of the wackiest finishes you’ll ever see at any level.
ODU celebrated accordingly.
What a game. If there ends up being crazier ending in college football this season then we’ll make sure to bring it to your attention.
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