Memphis picked up its third win of the 2021 season against Mississippi State Saturday thanks to an apparent misstep by the officiating crew.
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.