By the time November had rolled around last season, Iowa State had suddenly burst into the national picture, and controlled it’s own destiny to get to the Big 12 Championship game. After a tough loss to West Virginia in Morgantown, the Cyclones still had a shot at the Big 12 title game, but a tough Oklahoma State team stood in their way.
After dealing with an injury in the first half Kyle Kempt was replaced at quarterback by redshirt freshman Zeb Noland. Noland impressed in his first action in a Cyclone uniform, showing off his big arm and excellent pocket presence.
The Oklahoma State offense, led by Mason Rudolph and James Washington, were able to put up points on the stingy Cyclone defense, but Noland and the rest of the offense kept pace throughout the entire game.
Down 49-42, Iowa State took over on offense at their own 23 yard line with 5:49 to play. The cool and confident freshman quarterback in red marched his teammates down the field, looking to tie the game and send it to overtime. Then, after converting on 4th and 13 with a gutsy underneath pass to David Montgomery and a failed fade pass to Allen Lazard in the endzone, this happened:
The call was ruled an interception, ending the game and Big 12 championship game bid for the Cyclones. However, it’s clear to see by replays and photos that Marchie clearly had possession of the football, while the Oklahoma State defender never even sniffed possession until after the whistle. This blown call is and should be remembered as one of the greatest officiating injustices in Cyclone history (on a long and prestigious list, might I add).
This blown call cost Iowa State the a chance at a Big 12 title game berth just ONE SEASON after going 3-9, which would have been one of the most incredible turnarounds in college football history.
I mean, LOOK AT THIS PHOTOGRAPH (Chad Kroeger voice). How much clearer can it possibly be?!? Marchie has two hands on the ball, while the defender mysteriously has zero hands on the ball.
Here we can see that Marchie’s hand is clearly on the ball, underneath the defender’s. It’s important to note that a receiver can use the defender to trap the ball and gain possession, which he did.
Here’s a thorough video breakdown of the play:
I will be mad about this until the heat death of the universe.