VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) — USD and SDSU have played each other 114 times prior to Saturday, but the 115th meeting would be one that both sides will never forget.
SDSU led USD 20-17 with just eight seconds to play. The Jacks were facing fourth down, so they ran some clock and threw the ball away, thinking it would take all the time off the clock, but it didn’t.
“We practice that play, we’ve timed it ourselves. It usually takes eight or nine seconds,” SDSU head coach John Stiegelmeier said. “That’s how fickle the game of football is. One second can make a whole different outcome.”
“We were hoping there was one second, I mean games not over until all zeros hit the clock,” USD quarterback Carson Camp said. “It was hail mary time, miracles happen and stuff happens.”
USD would have one second and that’s all they needed as quarterback Carson Camp threw a hail mary pass that was tipped three times prior to being caught by Jeremiah Webb for the 57 yard, game winning touchdown.
“It was pretty slow motion. The ball went up, it bounced off a couple defenders hands. I seen it the whole way and I just happened to grab it out the air,” USD wide receiver Jeremiah Webb said.
“Heck of a play by J Webb, heck of a play by all the dudes over there. I saw the ball bouncing around. I didn’t see who caught it, but it worked well,” Camp said.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. I still really don’t know what to say. I was standing over there. I didn’t have a view so I was looking at the video board,” USD linebacker Jack Cochrane said. “I kind of like did a double take with my eyes. We caught it so, it’s hard to describe still.”
USD head coach Bob Nielson has coached college football for 29 years, but the outcome of Saturday’s contest was unlike any other experience in his career.
“I’ve been a part of a game where we threw a few hail marys or we had to defend a few hail marys, but never one that we’ve completed,” USD head coach Bob Nielson said. “In a world of firsts for a guy that has been doing this for a long time, that was one that I’m going to remember for the rest of my life.”
Saturday’s win was huge for USD and their hope of returning to the FCS Playoffs. The Coyotes are now 7-2 on the season and 5-2 in conference play, which means they’ll have a chance to win the conference title next week.
“In terms of potential playoff berths and all of that you know, it’s a big win and quite frankly, it puts us in a position where we get to play for a conference championship next week,” Nielson said. “That was one of the goals this football team had from the beginning of the year and to be in that position, going into the final game is exactly where you want to be.”
“We’re still chasing a ring and we’re still chasing a conference championship, so we’re definitely not going to let off the gas,” Camp said. “Maybe some people might think that we’re going to ride high from this win, but we’re back to work tomorrow and I think that’s the mentality that all these guys got and the guys in that locker room over there. I mean, we want to win and we’re going to continue to win.”
SDSU will have to regroup from their loss to prepare for their final game next week, but head coach John Stiegelmeier is confident his team will turn Saturday’s loss into fuel.
“I think because of our program and what we believe in, I think it’ll be as much motivation as hard (to get over),” Stiegelmeier said.
USD will return to action next Saturday when they play at NDSU. SDSU will host North Dakota in their regular season finale.