The Tigers were up 21-17 with just under 6 minutes to play in the game when the Bulldogs were punting the ball away. The ball sailed near the 5-yard line and bounced back to the 10-yard line. The punt appeared to be downed by Mississippi State. Even the referee was about to call the play dead and let Memphis set up shop.
Calvin Austin III didn’t hear the whistle and swooped in between Mississippi State defenders, grabbed the ball and ran 94 yards for a touchdown.
The odd play stunned social media. Memphis won the game, 31-29.
The SEC explained the ruling while also admitting to missing another call on the play.
Tigers quarterback Seth Henigan was 16-for-28 for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Austin had both of those touchdown catches and caught a total of nine passes for 105 yards.
Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers was 50-for-67 for 419 passing yards and three touchdown passes. Makai Polk led the team with 11 catches for 136 yards and a touchdown.
Second-year Memphis coach Ryan Silverfield, who led Memphis to an 8-3 record and a Montgomery Bowl win last season, got a Gatorade bath from his players after the win.