What makes athletic competitions great is that the unexpected can occur at any moment.
One of the most unexpected and most exciting things that can occur in a football game is a trick play. Trick plays can be very risky, and it takes courage for a coach to utilize one in a game. A successful trick play can give a team great momentum and help win a game. However, at the same time, an unsuccessful trick play can kill momentum, end a team's chances of winning, and make the team and coach look bad for taking such a risk.
There have been many trick plays utilized in college football, but here are five trick plays that stunned the college football world:
5. Western Kentucky's tricky 2-point conversion in OT (2012)
Link: WKU vs. UK
As an avid University of Kentucky sports fan, this play is still hard for me to watch. However, it was a very gutsy play that won the game for WKU, giving the team its first win over a BCS opponent.
Kentucky had capped off a late fourth-quarter drive with a touchdown to tie the game and force overtime. In overtime, Kentucky started with the ball and quickly scored a touchdown. WKU was able to answer with a touchdown of its own after Kentucky was called for a roughing-the-passer penalty. WKU decided to put everything on the line and go for 2. WKU quarterback Kawain Jakes threw a backwards pass to running back Antonio Andrews -- which allowed Andrews to throw the ball back across the field to Jakes as the Kentucky defense was rushing toward him. Jakes was wide open and walked into the end zone, giving WKU the victory.
4. Presbyterian's bounce pass against Wake Forest (2010)
Link: Bounce Pass
In Presbyterian's first ever game against a BCS opponent, it used an amazing trick bounce pass. Quarterback Brandon Miley threw a slightly backwards pass that bounced to receiver Derrick Overholt. Overholt slapped the ball and acted like he was frustrated that the pass was incomplete, fooling the Wake Forest defense by making them think the play was dead. Then, he launched the ball over the Demon Deacons' defense for a 68-yard touchdown. Even though Presbyterian would go on to lose the game, this is one of the best trick plays ever seen in a college football game.
3. Boise State hook and ladder in 2007 Fiesta Bowl
Link: Hook and Ladder
The hook and ladder had been used before this game, but the stage and execution of this trick play is why it made my list. Boise State was facing fourth-and-long down by seven to Oklahoma with only 18 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Broncos quarterback Jared Zabransky threw the ball 15 yards to Drisam James, who was cutting across the middle of the field. All of a sudden, James lateraled the ball to Jerard Rabb, who was sprinting across the field from the opposite direction. Rabb took it all the way for a touchdown to tie the game up.
2. Boise State Statue of Liberty (2007)
Link: Statue of Liberty
In double overtime of the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, Boise State scored a touchdown to bring it within one point of Oklahoma. Instead of kicking the point after to tie, the Broncos went for 2 to win the game. Having already successfully used a trick play to get the game to overtime, Boise State pulled out another trick play to win the game. Zabransky hiked the ball and acted like he was throwing the ball to his right. However, he actually handed the ball off behind his back with his left hand to running back Ian Johnson. Johnson ran into the end zone to give Boise State the victory over the Sooners.
1. Nebraska's 'Fumblerooski' (1984)
In the 1984 national title game, Nebraska decided to use a trick play against Miami. On third down on the Miami 19-yard-line, quarterback Turner Gill purposefully fumbled the snap. He then ran to the right and pretended to run a typical option play, tricking the Miami defense. Offensive guard Dean Steinkhuler picked up the ball and ran all the way into the end zone for a Nebraska touchdown. It was performed so well that even the announcers and cameramen were totally fooled by the play.
The author is an avid college football fan. His favorite team is the University of Kentucky Wildcats, but he follows the whole sport closely. Follow him on Twitter @bpage_sports.