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Miami shocks Duke with preposterous, 8-lateral touchdown return

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Incredible.

ESPN

Miami had just given up a back-breaking go-ahead drive to Duke, and fallen behind by a field goal with just seconds to go. Then the Miami Miracle happened.

After eight laterals and some fantastic blocking ended up springing Corn Elder for what seemed like a game-winning touchdown as time expired, though, the refs came back to deliver some bad news: A penalty for a block in the back on Miami would invalidate the touchdown, and result in an untimed down.

The ACC referees in Durham then went back to work on the play, their final call on a night they flagged Miami for a program-record 23 penalties for 194 yards. They checked all eight of the laterals -- those were all legal. They checked to see whether Miami's Mark Walton was down on the field before his lateral -- and they decided that he wasn't, though it's certainly very close on replay.

And the refs also checked on the block in question -- which would be a review of a penalty that is practically never reviewed, though one that might be reviewable under provisions allowing referees to check on "egregious errors" on replay. They found that to be a legal play, too.

Only then, after 10 minutes of review -- and a false alarm on the final call -- did the referees come to a conclusion: Touchdown, Hurricanes.

And so did the Miami Miracle get confirmed.

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SB Nation presents: Miami's unbelievable win highlights Week 9