Photo : Jonathan Bachman ( Getty Images ] Tulane-Houston was one of those nicknames for college games that, on paper, seemed to have the sole purpose of serving more as gambling feed than as legitimate competition for any program. But, as is often the case with these low-expectations games, it turned out to be a lot of fun with an ending that was pretty fucking bunkers. To begin with, the fact that Houston blew a 21-point lead on its way to ultimate death. With 13:16 remaining in the second quarter, the Cougars climbed 28-7 on the Green Wave thanks to a 35-yard pass by D & # 39; Eriq King. It was King's 15th straight passing and rushing game, recorded by FBS . Houston would not score again until 21 seconds left in the game – more on that later.
Then there was the poor official performance, which seemed to officially turn the game in favor of the team that took advantage of it. The biggest example of this came at the end of the fourth quarter, when two Tulane defenders showed up not to hear the whistles blown by Houston's fake start and went through the Cougar defenders' dismissal movements.
Houston was still hit with a false start, but the ensuing personal penalties for Green Wave fouls turned what should have been 3rd and 13th -and in 1st and -10th. Tulane's defense managed to call a fourth down after a few games, but the Cougars got the field goal they desperately needed to keep themselves alive 31-31. With less than 30 seconds of game clock remaining, you will be forgiven for thinking that the impulse that the Green Wave loses from that penalty will cause the game to go into overtime.
Of course, this is where the real madness of this game really exploded. After the ricochet, the Green Wave created a formation in which they seemed ready to suspend regulation. Justin McMillan then snapped and ran to the right side of the field, but not before passing the ball to running back Amare Jones, who used the trick to score 45 yards. It was a rare false knee.
(Somewhere, Greg Chiano grinded his teeth in dust)
With 12 seconds left on the game clock, Tulane decided to clock the game plays another play. Conventional wisdom dictates that you try to get as close as possible to kick your team in the perfect spot to win the game. But with everything that had happened so far in the game, conventional wisdom had clearly flown out the window.
During the ensuing play, McMillan gave up and tried to contact receiver Jalen McCleskey. The location of the throw and catch prompted two Houston defenders to throw on a Minnesota-like projectile, leaving McCleskey plenty of real estate to deal with the pressure.
This reception was the fourth of McCleskey's night to rule out a game in which he had 120 yards and two touchdowns. For Macmillan, this was his seventh completion of the night – his 20th attempt, no less. The game was also not a complete disaster for the Cougars, who continued their nation-leading series of 21 turnovers. So at least that's something.