I know, the headline is confusing. And the explanation isn't any less confusing, either. Nebraska picked up a first down on a backwards forward pass "fumble" that bounced past the first down marker on a fourth and short. And that still probably makes no sense, either, but nothing about this crazy play does.
To set the scene, Nebraska ran the option on fourth and one. Taylor Martinez faked the inside handoff, then pitched to Aaron Green. But Green never controlled the ball, instead watching as it bounced off his hands, off the turf and out of bounds just past the first-down marker. Should be Minnesota ball, right?
Wrong! Watch the video after the jump and try to figure this all out.
So yes, a player cannot fumble forward, but because this was a backwards pass it can be advanced as it was during the play. Whatever, it's not like Nebraska needed this anyway. Should've given Minnesota a charity call.