On Oct. 6, 1990, a football game was stolen, and the culprit was … the fates. It was a day when math teachers lost count and sure runners slipped and fell. It was a day when telephones went unanswered and a down marker played tricks with people’s minds. If there were an easy explanation, it would’ve been explained by now. If there were any one villain, he would’ve surfaced. The consensus, 20 years later, is that it was a once-in-a-lifetime accident, that there will never be another football game that ends on Fifth Down. But only one man from that day is still on the playing field, only one can make sure it never happens again — at least in his own stadium.
They’re talking about the Missouri – Colorado game, of course. Colorado scored on 5th down, won the game and eventually a share of the national championship. Without two third downs, the Buffalos lose. There’s more to the story, consider this:
Just as McCartney had hoped, Louderback and his crew had halted the clock for six full seconds to let the players unpile. The Missouri bench was incensed; the Tigers could see no clear evidence of their players holding Bieniemy or Buffaloes linemen down. They felt the game clock should’ve expired. But Johnson now had time to take the snap and down the ball … with two seconds left, the two seconds Louderback had restored what seemed like years earlier.
This is an excellent piece throughout, and without any real college football news today, you may want to check it out.