Utah celebrates TD too early

Utah WR Drops Ball Before Scoring, Oregon Runs It Back (4:11)

Travis Wilson completes a 78-yard pass to Kaelin Clay, but Clay fumbles just before scoring. Oregon DB Erick Dargan recovers the ball and fumbles, and LB Joe Walker returns it 100 yards for a TD. (4:11)

No. 17 Utah thought it had a 13-0 lead early in its showdown with No. 4 Oregon on Saturday night.

One problem: It celebrated too early.

What appeared to be a long Kaelin Clay touchdown reception early in the second quarter was all for naught when the senior wide receiver put the ball down just before crossing the goal line.

And as Utes fans went nuts in the stands at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Ducks linebacker Joe Walker eventually came up with the ball, raced up the sideline behind several blockers, and scored on what was called a 100-yard fumble return.

The play was upheld after review, allowing Oregon to draw even at 7-7 and leaving the Utes stunned in the process.

The Ducks went on to score 24 unanswered points en route to a 51-27 win.

It was an embarrassing turn of events for Clay -- and not the first time such a blunder has come from a Polytechnic High School product. DeSean Jackson, who like Clay attended the school in Long Beach, California, infamously dropped the football while prematurely celebrating a TD in a 2008 game against the Dallas Cowboys.

"I know how important points are, especially against a team like this," Clay said after the game. "I take full responsibility for what happened tonight. I will take the criticism and the blame. It was just one of those things. I got excited and let the moment just get away from me. Again, I take full responsibility for this."

ESPN.com's Kevin Gemmell contributed to this report.