Colorado State Hail Mary to beat Utah State nullified because receiver stepped out of bounds

This catch was awesome. But didn’t count. (via Altitude)
This catch was awesome. But didn’t count. (via Altitude)

Colorado State thought it had beaten No. 23 Utah State with no time left.

Preston Williams caught a Hail Mary touchdown pass from Collin Hill to seemingly give the Rams a shocking 30-29 victory. After Williams caught the ball, CSU players celebrated appropriately.

What a grab … (Via Altitude)
What a grab … (Via Altitude)

Then, a flag arrived. Was it for excessive celebration? That would be no big deal. With the game basically over a celebration penalty is worth it.

It was not for celebration. Williams stepped out of bounds on the way to the end zone.

… But you have to stay in bounds. (Via Altitude)
… But you have to stay in bounds. (Via Altitude)

Since Williams had stepped out of bounds while running his route he wasn’t eligible to make the catch. Since he did, he was penalized for illegal touching. And since there was no time left when Williams caught the pass, the game was over. And Utah State escaped with a 29-24 win.

Colorado State’s near-game-winning drive came after a back-and-forth final two minutes. The Rams scored with 1:36 left to take a 24-23 lead and Utah State responded to go ahead 29-24 with 43 seconds left. Thanks to the help of a Utah State personal foul penalty on CSU’s last drive, the Rams had a chance to win the game if Williams would have stayed in bounds.

The victory keeps Utah State (10-1, 7-0) with just one loss overall and no losses in the Mountain West. The Aggies will play Boise State next week to decide the winner of the Mountain West’s Mountain Division.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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