One of the wildest plays in college football history highlighted the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl on Wednesday, with Central Michigan, trailing by a touchdown, scoring on a 75-yard play that featured three laterals in the final seconds of the game.
Alas, the Chippewas went for two after the play and failed, enabling Western Kentucky to escape with a 49-48 win.
CMU trailed 49-14 going into the fourth quarter. But the Chippewas then awakened, scoring five touchdowns in the period -- including three in the final 3:06 -- to make things ultra-interesting. On the last play, which started with one second left, quarterback Cooper Rush completed a heave to wide receiver Jesse Kroll near Western Kentucky's 35-yard line. Kroll lateraled to tight end Deon Butler, who lateraled to Courtney Williams, who lateraled to Titus Davis, who squeezed into the front corner of the end zone after running about 20 yards.
The astounding nature of the last play overshadowed the performance of Western Kentucky quarterback Brandon Doughty, who threw five first-half TD passes to stake Western to a 42-14 halftime lead.
Doughty recently was granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA, and if he continues to develop next season as much as he did this season under new coach Jeff Brohm, he will become a legitimate NFL prospect.
Doughty threw for 2,857 yards, 14 TDs and 14 interceptions last season under then-coach Bobby Petrino. But he has blossomed this season under Brohm, and Wednesday's outing was his fourth this season with at least 486 yards. It also was his sixth game with at least four TD passes and his fifth with at least five.
All of his TD passes came in the first half, when Western scored TDs on all six of its possessions; all six drives covered at least 62 yards and four covered at least 75. CMU scored four fourth-quarter touchdowns to create some intrigue.
CMU's Davis (6-2, 190), a senior who is one of the best at his position outside the Power Five conferences, had a great final game with six receptions for 142 yards and four touchdowns. He became CMU's career leader in receiving yards with his performance; he finishes with 3,705 yards. He also has a school-record 37 TD receptions -- 13 more than current Pittsburgh Steelers star Antonio Brown, who was a CMU standout from 2007-09.