HOUSTON (AP) — Asher O'Hara plowed through a defender at the goal line to score on a 14-yard keeper, lifting Middle Tennessee to a 40-34 victory over Rice in double overtime Saturday after the Owls missed a “quadruple-doink” field goal in OT that would have won the game.
The Blue Raiders (2-5, 2-3 Conference USA) needed last-gasp heroics twice in the final moments to get past Rice, which finally was playing its season opener after coronavirus issues caused seven previously scheduled games to be canceled or postponed.
Rice seemed on the brink of victory when Mike Collins, who went 18 for 35 for 242 yards and four touchdowns, led the Owls on an 83-yard drive to take a 34-31 lead with 34 seconds left in regulation. Collins hooked up with Austin Trammell for a 48-yard gainer when the drive appeared stalled and found Trammell both for the 20-yard score and then the two-point conversion.
Middle Tennessee was not out. Crews Holt kicked a 48-yard field goal as time expired in regulation to knot the game at 34. The Blue Raiders went first in OT, but Holt missed a 50-yarder.
Rice again seemed on the verge of a win, but Collin Riccitelli's 40-yard FG try was partially blocked by Jalen Jackson and bounced four times off the goal posts — including the crossbar twice — before falling back onto the field.
Three plays later, O'Hara rolled left into the end zone for the game-winner.
This story has been corrected to show that Riccitelli’s missed field goal hit the goal posts four, not three, times.