The Fifth Down Game, 25 years later
It has been 25 years since one of the most infamous late-game mishaps in college football history.
On October 6, 1990, Colorado beat Missouri after mistakenly being given a fifth down, creating confusion and chaos on the field when quarterback Charles Johnson punched it in on a keeper as time expired.
Johnson had spiked the ball on first down to stop the clock and Eric Bieniemy was stopped just short of the goal line on second down. Colorado called timeout. The crew then forgot to flip the down marker to third down, so when the teams returned to the field after the timeout, it was still second down, although it should have been third. On "third down," after another goal-line stand by Missouri to stop Bieniemy, Johnson spiked the ball to stop the clock again, though that should have been the end of the drive. Instead, Colorado took advantage of one more chance to win the game 33-31 in controversial fashion.
The Buffaloes would go on to win the AP national championship, though the controversy surrounding that game may have been a contributing factor in 11-0-1 Georgia Tech receiving one more vote for the UPI national championship, making for a split title.