For N.C. State's Bryan Underwood, the play unfolded pretty as a picture - a left-to-right jet sweep, complete with a corner-turning burst, a veer to the sideline and into open space, and then an unimpeded 83-yard romp to the goal line.
The touchdown sprint, and soon-to-be 14-13 lead, had Carter-Finley Stadium rocking.
The problem was, the sideline official had blown his whistle, signaling Underwood out of bounds, and the play dead, near midfield in front of the Wolfpack bench.
Coach Dave Doeren said it wasn't so.
Television replays from every possible angle, slowed down to step, by step, by step seemed, at first, to irrefutably agree. Another version, which was posted widely on Friday, seemed to contradict.
In any case, there was no real argument - the out-of-bounds call stood as an unreviewable play.
The Wolfpack took their 30 yards, gave back the other 53 and the points, and moved on.
But not for long.
Two plays later, on a third-and-10 play from the Clemson 48, Vic Beasley chased down quarterback Pete Thomas in a collapsing pocket and stripped away the football. Spencer Shuey pounced on the fumble. And State, still down 13-7, went back to work on defense.
After a third-down keeper by Tajh Boyd picked up a first down, the Tigers' senior quarterback found Martavis Bryant running free behind the Wolfpack secondary and delivered his own piece of perfection - a 30-yard touchdown toss that Bryant grasped securely in the end zone.
The Tigers led 20-7, smothered State's next drive with a third-down sack by Shaq Lawson, and then struck again with a Nuk Hopkins-eque touchdown grab by Bryant against man coverage of a ball lobbed into the end zone by Boyd.
Bryan Underwood is still wondering what went wrong.