SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - Head coach Tim Beckman is almost positive Toledo should've walked off the field victorious.
When Syracuse placekicker Ross Krautman kicked an extra point that put the Orange up 30-27 with 2:07 left in the fourth quarter, Beckman was told by his coaches in the press box that it never went through the upright. The play was reviewed, but went in the Orange's favor.
When the Rockets' next possession resulted in a field goal on the last play of regulation, it didn't send them to a hard-fought victory. Instead, it only led to a crushing 33-30 overtime loss.
"I don't know other than what they tell me in the box, and it looked like it was a little off to the left," Beckman said. "When you come into these games, I think we've learned as a football team, and as a coaching staff, it's us against the world."
Big East coordinator of officials Terry McAulay later released a statement saying the replay officials made the wrong call on the PAT.
"After studying the videos of the Syracuse extra point attempt at 2:07 of the fourth quarter, we have concluded that the ruling on the field that the kick passed between the uprights was incorrect, and that the replay official made an error in failing to reverse that ruling," the statement said. "In reviewing the video, we have determined that the angle from behind the kicking team shows conclusively that the ball passes outside the right upright.
"Our review of the process determined that the replay official mistakenly focused his attention on the sideline angle, which proved to be distorted. We are confident that our officiating staff will learn from this situation in order to prevent a reoccurrence."
Krautman kicked another field goal in overtime, this one without controversy, to propel the Orange to the victory. But as far as Beckman and the Rockets are concerned, they should never have needed to go to overtime in the first place.
Despite what he thinks of the call and the subsequent review, Beckman still couldn't put the blame on the officials.
"We've got to make sure we don't give the touchdown up so they could kick the PAT," he said.
The Rockets were done in by a gamble on the first play of overtime. Syracuse cornerback Kevyn Scott made an interception in the end zone and the Orange calmly set up Krautman for the clincher.
It was the third straight loss to a BCS team for Toledo (1-3) and the third straight home win for Syracuse (3-1), which beat Wake Forest in overtime in the season-opener.
The Rockets were burned when they gambled on first down and Scott wrestled quarterback Austin Dantin's pass away from wideout Bernard Reedy. The interception was the only turnover of the game for the Rockets, who nearly upset Ohio State on the road and a week ago gave No. 4 Boise State fits before falling.
"It's a learning experience," Dantin said. "We know what kind of team we have. But at the end, we didn't do it."
Syracuse gained a 30-27 lead on Ryan Nassib's 18-yard lob to Alec Lemon at the back of the end zone.
Both teams were hurting physically. Toledo lost leading tailback Adonis Thomas in the first quarter and was missing four starters on defense. Neither team gave in a close game that featured five lead changes.
Toledo wideout Eric Page didn't score, but he made Syracuse defenders dizzy with 13 catches for a career-high 158 yards.
Nassib finished 16 of 24 for 213 yards, and tight end Nick Provo had three catches for 54 yards and one touchdown for the Orange.
Dantin played most of the game and finished 22 of 32 for 258 yards passing and gained 42 yards rushing.
The Orange took a 23-20 lead on Krautman's 29-yard field goal with 12:37 left in the fourth, but the Rockets quickly rallied to regain the lead. Dantin hit Page over the middle for 32 yards, gained another 12 on a keeper, and Morgan Williams scored on a 3-yard run to cap a 61-yard drive that took just four plays and gave the Rockets a 27-23 lead with 10:54 left.
Williams also scored on a 21-yard run in the first quarter to give Toledo a 10-0 lead and David Fluellen caught a 29-yard scoring pass late in the third that gave the Rockets a 20-13 lead.
Syracuse tied it in four plays. Nassib hit Jarrod West for a 39-yard completion over the middle on a third-and-11 play. It was West's first career reception and Antwon Bailey scored on a 29-yard run on the next play.
Provo caught a 25-yard touchdown pass for Syracuse and Krautman had field goals of 33 and 31 yards to give the Orange a 13-10 lead late in the second.
With one chance to tie it before the break, the Rockets did just that on freshman Jeremiah Detmer's 52-yard field goal as time expired. It was his first field-goal attempt of the season and just 3 yards shy of the school record set in 2001 by Todd France.