Monday's College Football Playoff National Championship had a scene eerily too familiar to fans in the state of Utah.
One play after Oregon forced a turnover in the third quarter trailing 21-10, the Ducks capitalized as quarterback Marcus Mariota hit wide receiver Byron Marshall for a 70-yard touchdown pass to close the gap to a single-score game.
Hold that thought. On replay, Marshall dropped the ball close to the goal line, and officials reviewed the play to see if he let go of it too early, which would have resulted in wiping the touchdown off the board. The play held after review, however, and Oregon cut the Ohio State lead to 21-17.
Despite the score, though, the Buckeyes' ground game was too much as Ohio State won the national championship 42-20.
It wasn't the first time Marshall has endured controversy at the goal line. In the Ducks' first-week victory over South Dakota, he dropped the ball before crossing the goal line and an apparent touchdown was wiped off the board.
Monday's play brought back reminders of when Utah wide receiver Kaelin Clay dropped the ball before crossing the goal line in the Utes' eventual 51-27 loss to Oregon during the regular season. Instead of a Clay touchdown giving Utah a 14-0 lead on the Ducks in the second quarter, Oregon returned the fumble for a score and grabbed the momentum en route to a win.
Clay finished the season strong after his gaffe against the Ducks, and after Marshall's near-fumble Monday night, he tweeted, "NO BYRON NO!!!!"
NO BYRON NO!!!!— Kaelin Clay (@CALiboy4) January 13, 2015
It was a play that hit close to home for Utah college football fans. Here's a look at how people from around the Beehive State reacted to the play:
Ducks aren't the smartest of birds. They saw Utah give away a TD on a boneheaded play yet almost did the same.— Geoff Johnston (@geoffjBYU) January 13, 2015
Didn't Oregon see the Utah game?— Brad Rock (@therockmonster) January 13, 2015
Note to all college football players: DON'T DROP THE BALL BEFORE YOU'RE WELL IN THE END ZONE!— Lafe Peavler (@LafePeavler) January 13, 2015
You'd think Marshall would have witnessed how costly that type of celebration is. He got lucky because it was indisputable. Come on bruh!— Alex Markham (@AMarkhamRivals) January 13, 2015
If you doubted at all my belief that no nat'l broadcaster sees Pac12 games, note this: Fowler nor Herbstreit mentioned Kaelin Clay there.— Austin Horton (@austinhorton) January 13, 2015
Prophet sighting in Dallas: A few fans at the title game showed up with oversized head posters of two leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Thomas S. Monson and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. They also had a large cutout of former presidential nominee Mitt Romney in an Oregon uniform holding a trophy.
The trio and their signs made it on the ESPN broadcast of the game.
Showing off his abs: Ohio State sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott made a big impression in Monday's game, rushing for 246 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Buckeye offense. Locals also commented on his jersey, which was rolled up and showed off his midriff, a look that was much more popular in the 1980s and ’90s.
Someone get 15 a new jersey it's too small for him!— C.J. Cron (@CCron24) January 13, 2015
touchdown midriffs— Layton Shumway (@theshums) January 13, 2015
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