Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson passed for five touchdowns Saturday, and the last one he threw triggered mass confusion for bettors at Las Vegas sports books.
As time expired, Woodson hit Keenan Burton for a 5-yard touchdown, and Florida coach Urban Meyer immediately jogged across the field to shake hands with Kentucky coach Rich Brooks.
There was no point-after attempt by the Wildcats as the Gators celebrated their 45-37 victory. They also covered the spread as 7-point favorites.
Woodson’s touchdown pass turned out to be the game’s final play, and those who wagered on Kentucky and were expecting an extra-point try were left holding losing betting tickets.
Las Vegas Hilton sports book director Jay Kornegay said there was a “huge reaction” by bettors after Woodson’s TD pass — and another reaction to the realization that the score was final.
“The Kentucky fans erupted because they thought their money was saved. On the other side, the Florida supporters were all upset,” Kornegay said. “Within seconds, when everyone realized they were not going to kick the extra point, it was a classic reaction of a reversal of fortune.”
In the NFL, a point-after kick is required after all touchdowns not scored in overtime. That is not the rule in college football.
An NCAA rule — Rule 8, Section 3, Article 2, states:
“The ball shall be put in play by the team that scored a six-point touchdown. If a touchdown is scored during a down in which time in the fourth period expires, the try shall not be attempted unless the point(s) would affect the outcome of the game.”
Before the 2006 season, the rule stated the extra-point try was mandatory unless the team that was losing left the field of play.
Kornegay said he was aware of the rule and did not expect the Wildcats to kick the extra point.
“We were concerned because a lot of people don’t know that rule,” he said. “We were fortunate that we didn’t have too many people complain. It comes up maybe once a season, and it just happened to be one of the most popular games of the day.”
MGM Mirage sports book director Robert Walker said Florida-Kentucky drew the most action of any game Saturday, with bets as large as $5,000 and $10,000 on each team.
“We took a lot of big bets on both sides, but the majority was on Florida,” Walker said.
A final margin of seven points would have been a point-spread push and meant refunds for all bettors.
“Everyone was watching that last play,” Kornegay said. “It was a roller coaster of emotions.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.