In the fourth quarter of its 37-21 loss to No. 17 Indiana on Saturday, Rutgers snapped the football while trailing by 16 with 2:05 remaining. It was fourth-and-32 and the Scarlet Knights needed a miracle to keep a desperation drive alive. They nearly got one during the course of a play that took 34 seconds off the clock and appeared to involve eight laterals.
Wide receiver Bo Melton ended up with the football in open space and ran it in for a touchdown that, pending a two-point conversion, would have made it a one-possession game with 1:31 remaining. However, upon review, the officials ruled that there was an illegal forward pass on the play. That turned one of the wildest plays you’ll ever see from a touchdown into a turnover on downs.
Still, the absurd series of laterals figures to make the rounds on highlight shows this weekend. It even included an offensive lineman ending up with the football and blindly throwing it backwards over his head while being gang-tackled by Indiana defenders.
Eventually, Rutgers quarterback Noah Vedral ended up with the football and tossed a beautiful lateral from the middle of the field out to Melton, who was standing near the Rutgers sideline with a convoy of blockers nearby. Players and coaches on the Rutgers bench erupted in a frenzy as he ran untouched down the sideline to the end zone. Alas, it was too good to be true.