Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Purdue edges Tennessee in thrilling Music City Bowl after controversial officiating call costs Vols a TD in OT


A wild Music City Bowl ended Thursday with Purdue winning 48-45 in overtime over Tennessee, thanks in part to a controversial officiating decision. Mitchell Fineran won it for the Boilermakers on a 38-yard field goal after the Volunteers failed to score in overtime.

However, there was debate over whether Tennessee running back Jaylen Wright scored or was stopped short of the goal line on a fourth-down rushing attempt in overtime. The ruling on the field was that Wright was stopped short. However, a video review appeared to show that he was never down and reached the ball over the goal-line while on top of a Purdue defender.

But after a review, the officiating crew upheld the call on the field, which gave the Boilermakers the football needing only a field goal to win it. Fineran’s make then brought an end to a game that featured nearly 1,300 yards of total offense between the two teams.

It was the highest scoring Music City Bowl ever due to a frenetic finish to regulation. The teams combined for 28 points in a span of less than three and a half minutes late in the fourth quarter.

Tennessee kicker Chase McGrath came up short on a potential game-winning 56-yard field goal attempt as time expired, and the controversial overtime period ensued. With the win, Purdue finishes the season 9-4, while Tennessee finished 7-6. In some ways, the loss for the Volunteers mirrored their 31-26 loss to Ole Miss in October when Tennessee fans littered the field with trash amid displeasure with the officiating.

The Volunteers were penalized a whopping 15 times for 128 yards in the Music City Bowl, which only served to heighten the frustration with the overtime spot for a pro-Tennessee crowd at the game in Nashville, Tennessee.

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