Minnesota didn't need further proof that the universe was against it this season, but just in case there were any doubts, a strange first down play by Nebraska that set up the game's first touchdown made the College Football Fates' message pretty clear.
On fourth-and-1 early in the first quarter, Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez pitched a backward pass to Aaron Green, who fumbled the ball forward out of bounds.
Of course, Minnesota celebrated because it was fourth down and the ball can't be fumbled forward, right?
Even though Green fumbled two yards behind the line of scrimmage, the ball actually rolled out of bounds at the 11, one yard past the first down marker.
The ridiculous play resulted in a Nebraska first down.
"The play had a backward pass that ended up going forward," the official explained. "By rule, first down Nebraska at the out of bounds spot."
Even the announcers, who also thought the play was going to give Minnesota the stop and the ball, were flummoxed by the official's ruling.
Two plays later, Martinez found Tyler Legate for an 11-yard touchdown pass and the rout was on.
While that fourth down stop might not have changed the outcome of the game, it would at least have given the Gophers something to be proud of in what otherwise resulted in a miserable game.
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Curtsy (female version of the hat tip) to SportsGrid.com