Mark Dantonio's Michigan State teams have long been known for pulling off trick plays, though nothing quite as impromptu as the loopy lateral that landed BJ Cunningham in the end zone against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game.
With the Spartans down 21-14 and deep in Badgers territory part-way through the second quarter, Kirk Cousins completed a three-yard pass to Keith Nichol—the former quarterback known best for catching a Hail Mary touchdown against 'Sconsin earlier this season—who then lobbed the ball back to Cunningham before falling out of bounds. From there, Cunningham's scamper into the end zone was an easy one, closing the gap to 21-20.
And just when everyone at Lucas Oil Stadium thought the game was headed for a tie, Sparty kept the trickeration going with a fake extra point converted for two points by holder Brad Sonntag.
Who would've thunk the title game of a conference like the Big Ten, known more for smash-mouth football than piling up points, would turn into a shootout marked by gimmicky plays and a scoreboard that can barely keep up with the pace of the action?
And who could blame him? Sparty hasn't been to the Rose Bowl in 14 years and will need all the help it can get to keep Russell Wilson and Montee Ball at bay long enough to emerge with the Amos Alonzo Stagg Trophy.