Unsuspectingly, No. 7 LSU and No. 22 Texas Aamp;M put on the wildest game of the 2018 college football season: a 74-72, seven-overtime thriller that featured the most points ever scored in a Division I game at either the FBS or FCS level. There is obviously a lot to break down from all of this, and we’ll get to that below. First, however, it’s worth recognizing that Texas AM receiver Kendrick Rogers was the player of the game with two touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversion catches in overtime. He came up huge when the Aggies absolutely needed a play … or four.
Furthermore, while this was an exciting game, it was also very much a display of controversial officiating, which will undoubtedly be a topic of conversation on LSU’s end moving forward. Now, let’s get to everything that happened in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter all the way to the end of the game.
LSU had a chance to avoid this whole disaster and did not: All of the madness that you’re about to read almost didn’t happen. LSU had come from behind and outscored Texas AM 21-7 in the second half to take a 31-24 lead with just a couple of minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. After the Aggies turned the ball over on downs, the Tigers needed just one first down to seal the win. Instead, LSU went three-and-out, giving Texas AM the ball back at its own 22-yard line with 1:23 to play.
Kellen Mond’s interception was overturned because his knee was down: Texas AM moved methodically down the field, but Mond threw what looked to be a game-ending interception with under 30 seconds remaining after picking up a low snap. And for a minute, it did, in fact, feel like the game had ended. LSU coach Ed Orgeron got a Gatorade bath and everything. However, replay officials took a closer look at the play and determined, correctly, that Mond’s knee was down when he was picking up the low snap. So instead the play went into the books as an 8-yard loss. Texas AM retained possession.
The Aggies’ fourth-down conversion was close: Two plays after Mond’s interception was overturned, TAMU was facing a fourth-and-18, which Mond converted by throwing over the middle to Quartney Davis. The play looked short of the yellow line on the screen in real time. But with the Aggies rushing to the line to spike the ball with 10 seconds remaining, the play was not stopped for further review. Here’s the catch:
However, SEC Network anchor Peter Burns clarified that the call on the field was correct since the yellow line was off.
Mond clocked the ball just in time and gave the Aggies a clutch touchdown: Texas AM was running out of time, and with the game clock rolling at 3 seconds, clocked the ball. The original play clock showed all zeroes, which, again, would have given LSU the win, but officials determined the Aggies actually had 1 second on the clock to run one more play. Mond then connected with Quartney Davis, for a clutch 19-yard touchdown. The extra point tied the game at 31, sending it to overtime.
Things only got weirder in overtime: As if the end of regulation wasn’t bonkers enough, overtime proved only to be a continuation of the madness. Though both teams exchanged field goals in the first overtime — LSU kicker Cole Tracy nailed a 50-yarder while the Tigers forced AM into a kick following a goal-line stand — LSU actually appeared to recover a possible fumble from Texas AM tight end Jace Sternberger when he caught a pass and turned upfield near the goal line, but officials ruled the pass incomplete instead.
The third overtime was the most incredible of all: With LSU up 49-41 in the third overtime, Texas AM got an answer prayer in the form of catch-of-the-year candidate from Kendrick Rogers. With Mond rolling out and nowhere to go, he heaved up a pass into the end zone to Rogers, who miraculously hauled it in with one hand while drawing an obvious pass interference penalty. A two-point conversion — also caught by Rogers — tied the game at 49 and sent it into its fourth overtime.
In the fifth overtime, LSU pulled out some trickery while Rogers played hero again: LSU began the fifth overtime with a little bit of trickery, getting an 11-yard touchdown on a halfback pass from Clyde Edwards-Helaire to Tory Carter. On the ensuing possession, LSU had the Aggies on a fourth-and-goal when Mond connected, again, with Rogers for a touchdown in the corner of the end zone. Both teams missed their two-point conversions.
In the seventh overtime, Texas AM finally put the game away: With LSU already on the board in the seventh OT, Texas AM equalized with a 17-yard touchdown from Mond to Davis. The two-point conversion was initially incomplete, but LSU cornerback Greedy Williams was flagged for both defensive pass interference and then a personal foul penalty for voicing his anger at an official. After committing a false start on the two-point try, Mond connected with Rogers for the game-winning two-point conversion — his fourth scoring play of the day.