The crazy finish of the inaugural Popeyes Bahamas Bowl in which Central Michigan scored a 75-yard, three-lateral touchdown as time expired – already the top play of the 2014 bowl season as selected by ESPN’s SportsCenter – is up for another major honor as it received a 2015 ESPY Best Play nomination.
Central Michigan’s Popeyes Bahamas Bowl touchdown is the No. 2 seed among the 16 plays nominated. Voting is underway at ESPYS.com in a play-vs.-play bracket that will determine the eventual winner of the Best Play ESPY, to be awarded July 15 in Los Angeles on ABC. The Round of 16 online voting concludes July 1. If the CMU touchdown wins its Round of 16 matchup, the Round of 8 online voting will take place from July 1-8. The final four plays in contention will be voted on by fans from July 8 until the start of The 2015 ESPYS Presented by Capital One. The ESPYS will be broadcast live on ABC Wednesday, July 15, at 8 p.m. ET from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Central Michigan trailed Western Kentucky 49-42 and had the ball with one second to play at the CMU 25-yard line. Chippewas quarterback Cooper Rush scrambled to his right out of a heavy rush and threw 47 yards downfield, where Jesse Kroll caught it at the WKU 28. As Kroll was being wrapped up by tacklers, he flipped the ball up in the air behind him to Deon Butler, who snagged it and picked up 11 yards to the Hilltoppers 17. In the grasp of WKU defenders, Butler shoveled the ball to Courtney Williams, who battled for a pair of yards to the 15. Bottled up, Williams saw a wide-open Titus Davis several yards to his right. Davis caught the final lateral, and he eluded three WKU pursuers on a diagonal dash and dive to the end-zone pylon for the touchdown that brought CMU to within 49-48.
The touchdown became an immediate hit on both television and social media, and capped a would-be comeback by Central Michigan, that trailed WKU 49-14 entering the final quarter. Despite the touchdown, Central Michigan was unable to complete a two-point conversion pass that would have won the game and been the greatest fourth-quarter comeback in bowl game history.
The 2015 ESPYS Presented by Capital One will be hosted by comedian, actor and television host Joel McHale, most widely known for hosting The Soup on E! as well as playing Jeff Winger on Community.
The award show gathers top celebrities from sports and entertainment to commemorate the past year in sports by recognizing major sports achievements, reliving unforgettable moments and saluting the leading performers and performances. The ESPYS honor ESPN’s commitment to The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a partnership launched with the late Jim Valvano at the inaugural ESPYS in 1993. Follow The 2015 ESPYS on Twitter @ESPYS.
For more information on the 2015 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl, visit PopeyesBahamasBowl.com.