12 thoughts on “Quite an Ending

  1. By my count, that was 13 laterals after the initial pass (plus one faked lateral). Is that what you got?

  2. IS that really legal? I thought you can do laterals only behind the line? How come other college teams
    and NFL teams don’t do this play?

  3. “I thought you can do laterals only behind the line?”
    A forward pass must be thrown from behind the line of scrimmage (and there can only be one on a given play); laterals can happen anywhere on the field (so long as they are truly lateral passes), and there can be as many as you want.
    What finally makes this play work is that the lateral with 0:59 left in the video (the last lateral) hits the ground, and the receiver catches it on a bounce. When it hits the turf, many of the defenders stop, thinking the play must be over. But it’s legal for a lateral to bounce, so the refs correctly allow the play to continue.
    A long long time ago, sitting in the student section at Camp Randall (maybe 1979 or so, the Badger QB was Randy Wright), I saw Wisconsin run a play where the QB dropped back to pass, and throw a swing pass to the flanker, who had lined up split wide left and had taken a couple steps back away from the line-of-scrimmage at the snap. But the pass was well short, and the flanker caught it on one hop. When the ball hit the (artificial) turf, the defense stopped. But the pass had been a lateral, the one-hop catch had been by design, and the flanker calmly turned and threw a forward pass 30 yards downfield to a Badger receiver, wide open because the defense had stopped. Touchdown Badgers.
    When you run a trick play like the Badgers did, it is a good idea to alert the refs to it beforehand, so that you don’t end up fooling them, too. Otherwise, they may whistle your play dead before it even gets started. Kudos to the refs in the video for not whistling the play dead on the bounced lateral.

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