So if you didn't catch Saturday's Colorado School of Mines-Western New Mexico game—I DVR'd it*—you missed out on one of the longest, strangest, and ultimately fruitless possessions in college football history.
Some background: Colorado School of Mines (please, call them "Mines") and Western New Mexico are a couple of Division II schools that compete in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The Mines Orediggers are coached by Bob Stitt, who's almost famous for having developed the Fly Sweep that West Virginia used to dismantle Clemson in the 2012 Orange Bowl.
The Orediggers have twice scored more than 60 points this season. But Saturday at WNM, they found themselves down 25-12 when they got the ball on their own eight-yard line with 7:24 remaining in regulation. They would spend the next 5:10 marching 90 yards in 24 plays—and not scoring.
How'd they manage that? After running back Tevin Champagne rushed for four yards on the first play, Mines quarterback Joe Schneider factored into the next 22 consecutive snaps. Schneider completed 6 of 19 passes on the drive and also rushed three times for 17 yards. The Orediggers got one of their seven first downs on a pass-interference penalty, one of four infractions during the possession. They were 5-for-7 on third down, and 1-for-2 on fourth down. The drive finally stalled at the 2, when Schneider's fourth-and-goal pass from the 6 to Ty Young went for just four yards.
Stitt still seems to be proud/aggravated by it:
Ever hear of a 24 play non-scoring offensive drive? We did it Saturday.
— Bob Stitt (@CoachBobStitt) October 8, 2013
Two plays later, Mines's defense got some points out of it all when defensive back Ian McFadden tackled a WNM running back in the end zone for a safety. Mines would score again with 43 seconds left and tack on a two-point conversion before finally losing, 25-22.
The Orediggers' drive is not the longest in college football history. That title still belongs to Navy, which took 26 plays to chew up 14:26 in a 2004 Emerald Bowl win over New Mexico. Navy's long march that day ended in a field goal.
You can view the details of Mines's crazy drive here:
*This is a lie.