How the refs cost Oklahoma State a win on Central Michigan’s controversial Hail Mary

While the play was incredible, it shouldn’t have happened.

Here are the details:

Oklahoma State was up, 27-24, Saturday in Stillwater, and had the ball on what appeared to be the final play of the game, a fourth down. The Cowboys elected to pass but when Mason Rudolph was unable to find a receiver, he threw the ball away. The Pokes were called for intentional grounding. The refs turned the ball over to Central Michigan for an untimed down. The Chippewas’ Cooper Rush then found Jesse Kroll for a 42-yard completion. Kroll lateraled to Corey Willis, who ran the ball in the final nine yards to completed the Hail Mary and win the game.

According to the rule book, Central Michigan should have never been awarded possession of the ball. As FOX Sports’ rules expert Mike Pereira pointed out, because the penalty was on the offense and included a loss of down, an extra play should not have been added. Per Pereira, according to Rule 3-2-3. "The period is  not extended if the foul is by the team and possession and the penalty includes loss of down."

Simply put, because there was no time on the clock, Central Michigan should not have gotten that extra play.

Just so there is no confusion, here is the actual rule, in the rule book, highlighted below.

Obviously the call was wrong. And the refs admitted as much after the game. 

Unfortunately, as FOX Sports College Football Insider Stewart Mandel points out, there is nothing that anyone at the NCAA can do to overturn the game. Oklahoma State shouldn’t have lost, but it will stay that way in the record books.