Trick Play U Opens College Football Season With a Doozy
Even if you aren't that big of a football fan you can appreciate what this time of year does for the attitude of people in general. While we might not all give a darn about who wins or loses a particular game, we at least know that we'll have something besides COVID and politics to talk about when we are in a group setting.
One of my favorite aspects of college football is the trickery that is often used over the course of a game. Now don't get me wrong, the trick play has its place in professional football too. What New Orleans Saints fan doesn't remember where they were when this happened in the Superbowl.
Trick plays are special. We all remember them. Sometimes we remember them when they work, for example when Boise State shocked Oklahoma. The Broncos actually suckered the Sooners twice. Once on the play to get the touchdown and then on the two-point conversion to win the game.
But those were trick plays of the past. How about the trick plays of today?
Well if you do some snooping into who is not afraid to delve into trickeration to gain an advantage you will find yourself watching film of the Purdue Boilermakers. Most of us in Louisiana know Purdue as the "school Drew Brees went to instead of LSU".
But for the rest of the college football universe the school in West Lafayette Indiana is becoming known as "Trick Play U". Let's take a look.
Here is a trick play that was run out of field goal formation that the Boilermakers used just this past Saturday night in their game against Oregon State.
That's playground stuff right there. But this kind of approach to the game should not have come as a surprise to Oregon State. Purdue has been running trick plays for a while. And, they seem to be able to pull the off with a great deal of success.
Here is Purdue tricking Michigan back in 2008.
That was a game-winner. And it is always such a treat to see a program like Michigan steeped in its own self-belief of excellence get taken down a peg or two.
Or how about this one from the 2008 and Foster Farms Bowl against Arizona. I know you all stayed up late to watch but in case you didn't.
Jeff Brohm, the Head Football Coach at Purdue says his team will run about 50 trick plays a season. That means opponents should be on the lookout for something "unique" at least four times a game.
Granted sometimes trick plays backfire, for example, in the fake field goal against Oregon State, that ball was actually intercepted when the defender stripped the ball from the hands of the receiver, but the Boilermakers went on to win the game.
I personally like trick plays. Those variations on the edges of the football rules keep coaches and teams honest. They are also a great weapon to use against a team that is really aggressive. Besides, despite how it may look on the field football is a mental game as much as it is a physical game. And there's nothing wrong with making your opponent doubt who they are just long enough to score.
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