Youngstown State head coach Bo Pelini drew a critical unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, then doubled down with another at the end of the Penguins' 27-24 loss to North Dakota State on Saturday.
With 35 seconds remaining, a 4-yard touchdown run by quarterback Easton Stick — an Omaha Creighton Prep grad — capped NDSU's 17-point comeback. But a disputed pass interference call that set up Stick's touchdown set off a series of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties against Pelini and the Youngstown State bench.
Here's video of the sideline altercation in the final minute:
Pelini later said refs "didn't like the way I was talking to them," though the TV broadcast crew indicated Pelini touched the head linesman.
Fifteen seconds later, after a pair of YSU incompletions, Penguin QB Hunter Wells was sacked for an 8-yard loss, resulting in 4th and 33 at the YSU 7 with 11 seconds remaining. According to the TV broadcast, the Penguins coach then drew a second flag for unsportsmanlike conduct, giving his team 4th and 36 from their own 4-yard line.
"I've never seen anything like this in my life," said one commentator.
"Nebraska fans have," replied his broadcast partner, referencing various unsportsmanlike conduct penalties received during Pelini's 7-year tenure as coach of the Huskers.
After digging the deep hole, YSU drew a pass interference call from an NDSU defender on the 4th-and-36 attempt, but that was followed by an incompletion to end the game.
Here's Pelini getting fired up at the refs earlier in the fourth quarter:
You can watch the final minute and a half of the game below, plus video of Pelini's postgame press conference. Within the first minute of the Q&A, Pelini responded to a question by asking a reporter for his own thoughts on a pass interference flag that cost YSU the penalty: