A chuck, a bounce, and a desperate fight for the final few inches. After further review, a miraculous win by the Michigan State Spartans.
With the game tied, Keith Nichol caught a 44-yard pass from Kirk Cousins on the final play of regulation to give the 15th-ranked Spartans a 37-31 victory over the #4 ranked Wisconsin Badgers Saturday night.
On the game-winning score, Cousins rolled right and heaved it as far as he could. The ball made it to the end zone, but then caromed off Michigan State receiver B.J. Cunningham’s face mask and back to Nichol, who caught it just outside the goal line. He struggled with two defenders before finally breaking the plane. Barely.
|Photo by: Andrew Weber|
Nichol was initially ruled short of the end zone, but officials overturned the call after a review.
"I swear I thought I got the ball across," Nichol said. "I knew once they went to review it that it was going to be a touchdown. I could just feel it. I went across the line with the ball for a split-second. There was no way I could be denied. I just knew in my gut it was a touchdown."
The loss was a devastating defeat for the Badgers, who are now all but eliminated from the BCS national championship race.
"This will sting and they will carry this memory with them for the rest of their life," a dejected coach Bret Bielema said afterwards. "It's going to be difficult."