The Top 10 College Football Trick Plays of All Time

Kevin W. RyanContributor IIIFebruary 4, 2014

The Top 10 College Football Trick Plays of All Time

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    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    Nearly one month has passed since Famous Jameis Winston led the Florida State Seminoles to the BCS National Championship over the No. 2 ranked Auburn Tigers, and my itch for college football isn't going away anytime soon. 

    With that, here are the 10 best trick plays in college football history...enjoy!

LSU @ Florida: October 9, 2010

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    Over 91,000 football fans traveled to Gainesville, Florida for the October 9 matchup between the No. 12 ranked LSU Tigers and the No. 14 ranked Florida Gators. 

    After a tumultuous back-and-forth game, LSU lined up for a game-tying 53-yard field goal with 35 seconds left in the game. 

    Les Miles called a fake field goal on the play, resulting in a five-yard rush for a huge, though controversial first down. Florida coach Urban Meyer's challenge was that the pitch on the fake field goal was a forward pass, not a lateral as it was called (and eventually upheld) on the field. 

    LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee capped the game-winning drive with a 3-yard strike to Terrence Toliver with just six seconds left—burying Florida with their second-straight loss. 

    Louisiana State 33, Florida 29

Michigan State vs. Notre Dame: September 18, 2010

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    On September 18, 2010, Brian Kelly's Fighting Irish traveled to East Lansing, Michigan for a prime-time matchup against Michigan State. 

    After each team scored just one touchdown in the first half, the second half featured six touchdowns from current NFL talents like Le'Veon Bell, Kyle Rudolph, Kirk Cousins and Michael Floyd to send the game into overtime. 

    Notre Dame kicker David Ruffer drilled a 33-yard field goal to give the Irish a 31-28 lead, and the defense forced Michigan State to line up for a game-tying 46-yard field goal try that would send the game into its second overtime.

    IT'S A TRAP!  

    State's backup quarterback, Aaron Bates, completed his only pass of the game, a 29-yard lob to tight end Charlie Gantt, for the game-winning touchdown in overtime. 

    Michigan State 34, Notre Dame 31

Oregon @ Michigan: September 8, 2007

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    Check out the pre-Phil Knight Oregon uniforms! 

    2007 was easily one of the worst seasons in Michigan's long history of football excellence. After being ranked the No. 5 team in the preseason, Michigan dropped their home opener to D-II Appalachian State before their Week 2 matchup with Oregon.  

    Ahead 18-7, Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon faked a handoff, faked the "Statue of Liberty" play and ran untouched for a nine-yard score.

    Dixon would finish the day with 368 total yards and four touchdowns—ultimately handing Michigan their second straight loss, and their worst loss since 1968.  

    Oregon 39, Michigan 7

Georgia Tech vs. Clemson: September 10, 2009

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    September 10, 2009: a.k.a. the greatest day in Scott Blair's football career. 

    Already ahead 14-0 on ACC rival Clemson, Georgia Tech's field goal unit rushed to the line for a 3-point try on 4th-and-13.

    Instead, kicker Scott Blair caught the snap and connected with a wide open Demaryius Thomas—yes, the one that just set the record for receptions in a Super Bowl with a separated shoulder, no less—for a 34-yard touchdown. 

    Though Tech was ahead 21-0 after the incredible trick play, Clemson stormed back to take a 27-24 lead in the fourth quarter. 

    Georgia Tech kicker Scott Blair drilled a game-tying field goal with 5:40 remaining before kicking the game-winning field goal with just 57 seconds remaining. 

    Blair had never thrown a touchdown pass or kicked a game-winning field goal before achieving both in the victory over Clemson. 

    Georgia Tech 30, Clemson 27

LSU vs. South Carolina: September 22, 2007

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    Before their matchup against No. 12 South Carolina, the No. 2 ranked LSU Tigers had only given up seven points in their first three games. 

    Ahead of the Gamecocks 14-7, LSU kicker Colt David faked a 32-yard field goal try and ran home the 15-yard touchdown—eventually capping the win for the Tigers.  

    LSU would finish the season as the nation's No. 1 team with an 11-2 record before capping the storybook season with a 38-24 victory over Ohio State in the BCS National Championship game.   

    LSU 28, South Carolina 16

Cincinnati vs. Syracuse: November 3, 2012

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    In this 2012 matchup between Cincinnati and Syracuse, Cincy running back George Winn faked a run up the middle and pitched a lob pass to a wide open Travis Kelce for a remarkable 37-yard score.

    Winn would finish the day with four total touchdowns in the Bearcats 35-24 road win. 

    Both teams would move on to finish the season with a bowl victory. 

    Cincinnati 35, Syracuse 24

     

Nebraska vs. Miami: January 2, 1984

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    Unlike the previous games on this list, this trick play happened in one of the greatest college football games of all time. 

    The 1984 Orange Bowl was played between the mighty Miami Hurricanes and Nebraska Cornhuskers, featuring players like the Heisman trophy-winning running back Mike Rozier, Tom Rathman, Bernie Kosar and Alonzo Highsmith. 

    From the 19-yard line, Nebraska lineman Dean Steinkuhler picked up an intentional fumble and ran it in for a touchdown—a play dubbed "the fumblerooski," as lineman can only pick up the football if the ball has been fumbled.

    Nebraska would go on to score a touchdown as time expired, however fail on the game-winning two-point conversion attempt, making the Miami Hurricanes the 1984 National Champions.

    Because the internet is awesome, the full Orange Bowl game film can be found here.

    "The U" 31, Nebraska 30

     

Presbyterian College @ Wake Forest: September 2, 2010

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    In their first game against a BCS opponent, the Presbyterian Blue Horse pulled off one of the most incredible trick plays in college football history—a (completely legal) bounce pass. 

    After the snap, the quarterback threw the ball into the ground, behind the receiver, and the wide receiver started acting like he was upset at an errant pass. His excellent salesman skills paused the defensive backs for just enough time for his teammate to sprint down the field and connect for a 68-yard touchdown. 

    Sure, giving up six rushing touchdowns and losing by 40 points makes for a long bus ride home—but the Big South Conference's Presbyterian Blue Horse pulled off one of the most ludicrous trick plays in college football history. 

    Wake Forest 53, Presbyterian 13

Boise State's Fiesta Bowl Trick Play II

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    The 2007 Fiesta Bowl featured the Adrian Peterson-led Oklahoma Sooners against America's Cinderella squad, Boise State University. 

    Boise finished the regular season 12-0 after mopping their schedule of unranked opponents by a total score of 473-187—landing them a spot in the BCS Fiesta Bowl. 

    With the game tied at 28, Sooner defensive back Marcus Walker picked off an errant Jared Zabransky pass for a touchdown with just 1:07 remaining in the game—giving the Sooners a 35-28 lead.  

    Zabransky rebounded, though, and helped complete an incredible comeback drive that sent the game into overtime, where this magical "Statue of Liberty" play sealed the victory for Boise.

    Boise State 43, Oklahoma 42

    But the play that got them into overtime was, without a doubt, the greatest trick play in college football history...

Boise State's Fiesta Bowl Trick Play I

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    After throwing what everyone thought would be the game-winning interception for Oklahoma, Boise quarterback Jared Zabransky led the Broncos on an incredible comeback drive that was capped off by this incredible "hook-and-ladder" trick play with just seconds remaining on the clock—on 4th-and-18, no less. 

    Before pitching the ball to Jerard Rabb, who eventually ran 35 yards for the game-tying touchdown, Boise wideout Drisan James caught a 15-yard pass from Zabransky in front of five Oklahoma defenders that were just yards away from ending the game. 

    The reaction coming from the press box was nothing short of perfect during this play.