Overconfidence? Flick of the wrist turns touchdown triumph into humiliation

This is what lousy college memories are made of.

University of Utah player Kaelin Clay ran for 78 yards Saturday and appeared to put his Utes two touchdowns ahead of the University of Oregon Ducks when something went horribly wrong at the last minute.

Or the last yard. Or the last foot.

Apparently convinced he was safely in the end zone and getting ready to celebrate, the wide receiver dropped the ball prematurely. Stunned by the good luck, but remembering the Pop Warner League lesson that a play isn’t over until the whistle calls it dead, Ducks defensive back Erick Deegan picked up the pigskin and headed the other way.

With 10 blockers in front of him – and a disoriented Utah offense ineffectually trying to stop him – he ran it back for a truly weird almost-touchdown-fumble-fumble-return that saw the ball travel almost the length of two football fields before the play was done.

Alert readers might not be surprised that Oregon won the game, 51-27. The points on Clay’s fumble might not have been the deciding factor, but they’re what everyone’s going to remember.

Especially Clay.

It’s what lousy college memories are made of.

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