The Rice Owls lost their opening game of the 2020 college football season against Middle Tennessee on Saturday in heartbreaking fashion.
After stopping Middle Tennessee in their first possession of overtime, Rice needed only a field goal to win the game.
Rice's field goal attempt bounced off of the iron four different times before finally falling to the ground short of the crossbar.
Middle Tennessee took advantage of their second chance and won the game in the second overtime.
It's always a tense moment when a college football game comes down to a game-winning field goal attempt. Still, on Saturday, the Rice Owls suffered a uniquely heartbreaking blow in an overtime loss against Middle Tennessee.
Both teams traded scores in the final minute of regulation, building towards an overtime period that somehow brought even more chaos.
Middle Tennessee had the first possession of the extra period, but the Rice defense held them to a field goal attempt, which kicker Crews Holt missed. All the Owls needed was a field goal of their own to win the game.
Rather than fight hard for a touchdown, Rice played it safe with their overtime possession, rushing the ball three straight times to set up kicker Collin Riccitelli for a 45-yard field goal to win the game.
Riccitelli's kick swayed right, bounced off of the right upright, then off of the crossbar, then off of the left crossbar, and then hit the crossbar a second time before finally refusing to go through.
It is a field goal attempt that has to be seen to be believed.
—CBS Sports (@CBSSports) October 24, 2020
After the miss, Rice was stopped to start the second overtime period, and Middle Tennessee would score to win the game in just four plays. Final score: Middle Tennessee 40, Rice 34.
We've seen iron crush the dreams of athletes plenty of times before. The Chicago Bears infamous "double doink" immediately jumps to mind, as does Kawhi Leonard's game-winning jump shot against the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2019 NBA postseason.
But with their four-post field goal miss, the Rice Owls have secured a place in the pantheon of painful losses that likely won't be matched for some time.
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