Sixty-one yards and 46 seconds. That's how long, in distance and time, it took Division III Trinity University of San Antonio to make history.
This was the scene in Jackson, Miss.: Millsaps College had a 24-22 lead after recovering an onside kick. The Majors turned the ball over on downs at the Tiger 39 with :02 remaining. Trinity quarterback Blake Barmore, operating against a three-man rush (didn't anyone on the Millsaps coaching staff watch the BC-Va Tech finish?), hit a wide-open Shawn Thompson on a crossing route at midfield.
And then the fun began.
Thompson ran right before lateraling the ball to wide receiver Riley Curry, who lateraled to offensive lineman Josh Hooten, who quickly flipped it back to wide receiver Michael Tomlin, who was nearly tackled before flipping it backwards to offensive lineman Stephen Arnold, who quickly lateraled it to Thompson, who lateraled it to wideout Brandon Maddux, who ran right and faked a lateral to Curry, ran up the right sideline, then did lateral to Curry, who lateraled it back to Maddux, who then lateraled it overhand and back across the field to Barmore (he's the quarterback; remember?), who raced 20 yards down to the 30 before lateraling it over his head to Thompson, who lateraled it to Curry, who went airborne between two Millsaps tacklers before lateraling it back to Tomlin, who raced right (as the color man yells, "Go! Go! Go!") and was nearly tackled before lateraling to Hooten, who lateraled to Maddux, who overhand lateraled a one-hopper to Curry, standing at the 35 and then raced past a slew of gassed Millsaps defenders untouched to paydirt.
If reading that sentence tired you out, imagine how the Millsaps defense felt. By the time Curry scored, at least three of them were laying face down in the turf from fatigue. As Michael Christensen of the Jackson Clarion-Ledger wrote, "It looked like bodies strewn across a battlefield."
For posterity's (and T-shirt accuracy's) sake, this is the lateral list beginning when Thompson caught Barmore's pass at midfield:
1. Thompson to Curry
2. Curry to Hooten
3. Hooten to Tomlin
4. Tomlin to Arnold
5. Arnold to Thompson
6. Thompson to Maddux
7. Maddux to Curry
8. Curry to Maddux
9. Maddux to Barmore
10. Barmore to Thompson
11. Thompson to Curry
12. Curry to Tomlin
13. Tomlin to Hooten
14. Hooten to Maddux
15. Maddux to Curry
Unbelievable. If this wasn't the most memorable game-ending play in college football history, it likely was the longest play -- by a multiple of two -- in the game's history. A few more points worth making:
•Curry, who scored the touchdown, touched the ball four different times during the play and was actually tackled and lying on the ground after his third carry.
•Can you imagine if this had happened in Division I-A? All the joy of the moment would have been robbed as officials huddled for, what, three days reviewing the play. And they might just have ruled that Tomlin was down before he pitched the ball to Hooten (lateral 13). You can judge for yourself.
•Finally, someone at a radio/TV outlet somewhere should offer Trinity sophomore Jonathan Wiener a job immediately. Wiener made the internet webcast call, and on the game's final play he identified every player pitched to immediately with the exception of the two O-linemen. Moreover, his voice rises in pitch and intensity in perfect synchronicity with the extraordinary events unfolding before him.
•Someone should show this tape to Georgia's Mark Richt. This is when it's okay for an entire team to storm the end zone.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the cheerleaders who did push-ups after every score
Weber State beat Portland State 73-68 in the highest-scoring game in NCAA history (at least since the NCAA began recording such matters; you'll recall that John Heisman's Georgia Tech team beat Cumberland 222-0 in 1916). The two I-AA teams combined for 141 points. Portland State freshman Drew Hubel, making his first collegiate start, threw nine touchdown passes in a losing effort.
And was immediately offered a scholarship by Notre Dame.
The score at the end of the first quarter was Portland State 7, Weber State 3.
At halftime, though, Weber State led 38-27.
If you were a Weber State cheerleader intent on celebrating each score by doing as many push-ups as the Wildcats had points, you would have wound up doing 418 push-ups.
It took Colt McCoy getting the sense knocked out of him to get the sense knocked in to Mack Brown
Every week, it seems, Texas quarterback Colt McCoy gets Tasered by a defensive lineman. This time, for once, McCoy's pain was the Longhorns' game. The Longhorns attempted 18 passes and 17 rushes in the first half against Nebraska and went into the intermission trailing 10-3.
Then McCoy got popped and had to come out for a play. Freshman QB John Chiles, in his only snap of the game, handed off to Jamaal Charles, who gained 24 yards.
A light bulb suddenly appeared over Mack Brown's head and the Longhorns stopped passing the pigskin. Charles would gain 216 of his 290 yards (most ever against Nebraska) in the fourth quarter alone as Texas pulled out a 28-25 win.
The question is, Why didn't Texas game-plan it this way from the beginning? Nebraska is currently last in the nation in rush defense.
You read that correctly...and then some
The Cornhuskers are last in the nation in rush defense (242.6 yards per game). Notre Dame is last in the nation in rush offense (34.1 yards per game).
Sylvester Croom explains life and college football
After Mississippi State shocked Kentucky 31-14 (yo, the Bulldogs are 5-4), head coach Sly Croom uttered a thought so profound that if I had any domestic talents I'd embroider it on a pillow. Seriously. It's the ideal rebuke to every dumb--- fan who cannot understand, for example, how Michigan can lose to Appalachian State and yet be ranked in the Top 20.
"A metamorphosis goes on as the season progresses within every football team, positively or negatively," Croom said. "You're never the same at the finish as when you started. You're either getting better or you're getting worse."
Speaking of getting worse
Mississippi State, which opened the season with a 45-0 loss to LSU (who lost to Kentucky, who lost to MSU...), may be getting better. But as for their Magnolia State neighbors? The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal ran an ad Sunday stating that Mississippi is at home against Northwestern (La.) State next Saturday and "Tickets are available for $5."
When is the last time you could even pay for parking at a college football game with a $5 bill?
Navy enters Notre Dame week having to try and forget a 59-52 loss to I-AA Delaware. Blue Hen running back Omar Cuff ran for four touchdowns, giving him 28 on the season. That's 10 more TDs than any other player in Division I has scored (Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech wide receiver, 18) and 18 more touchdowns than the Fighting Irish have scored.
Autzen powers up
The University of Oregon's Autzen Stadium opened in 1967. Until Saturday, though, when the No. 5 Ducks hosted No. 9 Southern Cal, Autzen had never been the site of a tilt between two Top-10 teams. Oregon beat the Trojans, 24-17, as you know.
Oregon fans waited 41 years to see their first Top-10 clash in Eugene. How long must they wait until the next one? Seven days, when No. 6 Arizona State (8-0) visits the Ducks (7-1), who are now No. 4.
Because they don't need to leapfrog anyone in the polls
Did you see how 6-8, 315-pound Ohio State offensive tackle Alex Boone celebrated the Buckeyes' second touchdown in State College? Late in the second quarter, Brian Hartline caught a pass in the left flat and ran 16 yards for a score. Boone put one paw on each of his 6-3 teammate's shoulder pads and leapt completely over him, while Hartline was standing erect. What must it feel like to have a 6-8, 300-pounder use you as a pommel horse?
Who are you to judge, Ito?
We like Rutgers kicker Jeremy Ito. Really. He's 31-31 on PATs this year and has been a mainstay for the Scarlet Knights during their ascent to bowl-worthy status the past three seasons. Still, it was funny to hear Ito, a kicker, give this assessment of West Virginia's 31-3 razing of Rutgers in Piscataway: "We played an excellent team today and we got our butts kicked."
Hawaii 50, New Mexico State...Lost
Hawaii beat the Aggies 50-13 in Honolulu in the pre-dawn hours of Sunday morning on the east coast. The Aggies have allowed 50 points in three games this season, yet "Football For Mummies" are still a respectable 4-5.
The Warriors' Colt Brennan threw six touchdown passes, bringing his career total to 119. During the evening Brennan passed Danny Wuerffel, Tim Rattay and his predecessor, Timmy Chang, on the "career touchdown passes" list. The senior QB needs just two more TD throws to pass 1990 Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer of Brigham Young, who holds the NCAA record with 121.
The UFR's "All five unbeatens won, but only one can be No. 1" Top Five
1. Ohio State (8-0)............Buckeye punter A.J. Trapasso never got into the game at Penn State.
2. Boston College (8-0)....Team of destiny hailing from town of destiny. Beantown is boomtown these days.
3. LSU (7-1).......................Tigers visit Tuscaloosa for reunion with Nick Satan.
4. Oregon (7-1)..................Ducks get nod over Sun Devils due to Sept. 8 business trip to Ann Arbor.
5. Kansas (8-0)..................Two-thirds of the games have been played, and Jayhawks are only team in top five in both scoring offense and scoring defense.
The UFR's "If only Adrian Peterson had stayed, this would be a lot easier" Heisman Top Five
1. Dennis Dixon, Sr QB, Oregon: Last season: 12 TD passes, 14 INTs. This season: 16 TD passes, 3 INTs.
2. Matt Ryan, Sr QB, Boston College: If only there were influential New England-based media outlets, he might have a chance.
3. Tim Tebow, Soph QB, Florida: Still leads the nation in pass efficiency and his team in rushing.
4. Michael Crabtree, Frosh WR, Texas Tech: No. 1 in receiving and No. 2 in scoring nationally. What skill-position player is having a more spectacular season?
5. James Laurinaitis, Jr LB, Ohio State: Leader of unit that's tops in the nation in scoring defense, total defense and pass defense.