Ivy League says officiating mistake cost Harvard OT victory

NCAA Football

Officials were wrong to wipe out what would have been a game-winning 2-point play in overtime by Harvard after a replay review awarded Princeton a timeout, the Ivy League said Sunday.

Princeton won 18-16 in five overtime periods.

After Jack Smith hit Kim Wimberly with a pass to convert the 2-point play in the third overtime period, replay officials ordered a review to see if Princeton coach Bob Surace called timeout before the snap.

They ruled he did and replayed the down. Harvard scored again but that play was called back because of an offensive penalty. On its third try, Harvard was stopped and the game went two more overtime possessions for each team.

The Ivy League said officials made a procedural error because a timeout can only be awarded by on-field officials before the ball is snapped. It is not a reviewable situation.

New NCAA overtime rules have teams running only 2-point plays starting in the third overtime session. The first team that gets a score and a stop wins.

At Penn State on Saturday, the Nittany Lions and Illinois went a record nine overtime periods, with the Illinois winning 20-18.

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