BOISE, Idaho -- Tyler Tettleton's fourth-down, 14-yard pass to LaVon Brazill was a touchdown, giving Ohio their first lead of the game with just 37 seconds left to play in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
No, wait: Brazill's knee was down two feet short of the goal line.
Then the version was that Brazill fumbled his own reception before recovering for the score.
The final ruling from the officials? Brazill was indeed short of the would-be go-ahead touchdown.
Ultimately, the bewildering, back-and-forth call in a matter of minutes didn't matter. Two plays after the confusion, Tettleton bootlegged for a 1-yard touchdown run with 13 seconds remaining in to give the Bobcats (10-4) the advantage.
After a valiant four-lateral attempt from Utah State on the final play of the game, the Bobcats' first lead of the contest became the final score, 24-23, over the Aggies at Boise State's stadium.
Ohio's victory, which came despite being out-gained by 96 total yards and nearly seven minutes' time of possession, marked the program's first in six tries, four of which have come in the past five seasons.
Meanwhile, the Aggies came up just short in the program's first bowl appearance since 1997.
"Ohio was physical and played hard, and ultimately that can be said about our same Utah State team," said Aggies coach Gary Andersen, who took USU to a bowl game faster than any coach in Aggie history outside of John Ralson and Charlie Weatherbie, in 1960 and 1993, respectively.
"You're not going to win every close game, and we've been lucky to have that happen for us the past five times."
The Aggies' last-second defeat marks the first loss in Andersen's career. The third-year USU coach toted a 7-0 bowl record from his career as an assistant at Utah heading into Saturday's game. Andersen took time after the game to publicly apologize on behalf of several of his players heading up the tunnel before fulfilling their tradition to sing the fight song and recognize fans before acknowledging the significant aspects of the defeat.
"Every loss stings, but I apologize for some of the guys," he said. "This has been the most gratifying season of my career. I'm excited for the entire class of seniors, and not just they're success, but also of the seniors of 2010 and 2009. A lot of people came a long ways to see us play. We do have the best fan base in the country and in the world."
Michael Smith rushed 12 times for 157 yards and two touchdowns for the Aggies, while USU quarterback Adam Kennedy went 11-of-18 for 63 yards and one touchdown as the junior returned from an injury late in the third quarter.
Chuckie Keeton, the season's initial starter who was rushed to the hospital Nov. 5, during the Aggies' season-changing comeback against Hawaii, relieved Kennedy for one series before the junior returned.
Ultimately, the spotlight belonged to Brazill, the Bobcats' senior receiver.
"This guy LaVon, he makes play after play," said Tettleton, who added to his 12 school records set this season by passing for 220 yards and two touchdowns. "He's a special player. He is a leader to us and has shown what it takes to be thrive on the field."
Brazill racked up 108 receiving yards and the final touchdown, while the third of his eight receptions for the evening caused him to set new Ohio single-season record for receptions, breaking Eddie Washington's old mark of 68.
WAC offensive player of the year Robert Turbin had the opportunity to set some new USU milestones as well, needing just one rushing touchdown and 120 rushing yards to set new records for career rushing touchdowns and single-season rushing yardage, respectively. But with 101 rushing yards and no scores, he fell just short of the marks.
"This season has just been a grind. Every game has been down to the wire," Turbin said.of a team who saw 10 of its 13 games be decided either within the final minute of regulation, in overtime, or with no time left on the clock. "I figured it would probably come down to the defense and I expected it to come down to the wire. You do win some and you lose some and unfortunately we lost tonight."
When asked if the difficult loss -- USU senior linebacker Bobby Wagner was wiping away tears moments before taking the press podium for questions -- influenced his decision whether or not to return for his senior season rather than declare for the NFL draft, Turbin was clear.
"No," he said.
When asked if he would return next season, Turbin didn't say much more.
"Not sure," came the reply.
Wagner, who notched six tackles in a game that both marked the last of an Aggie career and that saw him set a new WAC career tackles record, wasn't in the mood for moral victories.
"I feel like we turned the program around, " he said of the Aggies' attempt to notch the program's first bowl win since 1993, a Las Vegas Bowl victory. "We gave something that the city hasn't seen for quite some time. We could be proud of that, but I like to end on a win."