In between Oregon’s dominance of Big 12 champion Kansas State and all the talk about which NFL job Ducks head coach Chip Kelly might be taking, came the only sui generis moment of last night’s Fiesta Bowl: a blocked extra point attempt by Oregon that the Wildcats recovered and then took back to the end zone, where Oregon then made a tackle.
Safety, Ducks–except, because it happened on an extra point try, rather than a normal play, you only get one point instead of two.
As Paul Myerberg of USA Today noted, even referee Ron Cherry called it “an unusual ruling.”
So unusual that, as Craig Morgan of Fox Sports Arizona reported, the play has only happened once before in NCAA FBS history–which ought to sound familiar to UT and A&M fans, as the Longhorns got one in 2004 against the Aggies.
Watch the video above (hey there, Coach Fran! And much-younger-looking Mack!).
Texas had just blocked a punt and scored a touchdown to make it 13-12 when the extra point attempt went almost exactly like it did for Oregon last night. The Aggies pounced on the muffed kick in their own end zone, which gave the Horns its point back in a game they went on to win 26-13.
“The strangest call I think I’ve ever heard,” said ABC announcer Brad Nessler at the time. “That ball’s dead.”
As Deadspin’s Timothy Burke wrote, Nessler also announced last night’s game, “and didn’t know what he was seeing either time.”
But neither did Brown or Franchione in 2004:
“I’m a little embarrassed,” Brown said. “I didn’t know that was a rule.”
Said A&M coach Dennis Franchione, “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a one-point safety. That was a unique call.”
Who knows, without that extra momentum-changer, maybe Mack Brown never gets to lobby UT into the Rose Bowl over Cal that year.
(H/T to Texas Monthly contributor Michael Corcoran.)