Doc 5: Our Favorite College Football Tips -- No. 3 Miami-Ohio

This offseason we will count down various topics from Monday through Friday, bringing you the top five of the important and definitely some not so important issues in college football. It's the Doc Five, every week until we will thankfully have actual games to discuss.



If you ever wondered how Ben Roethlisberger first got on the radars of NFL scouts, this next clip should provide some clarity.

On Oct. 13, 2001, Miami-Ohio lost an 18-point lead against Akron and was trailing 27-24 on their own 30-yard line with 3 seconds remaining.

The game looked out of reach.

That was until Roethlisberger, then a redshirt freshman, showed off arm strength that left all watching – and all who saw the highlights later – in total awe.

Roethlisberger took the shotgun snap, avoided pressure, stepped up in the pocket and heaved a pass 70 yards downfield. The ball was tipped by Akron’s John Fuller into the hands of Miami-Ohio wide receiver Eddie Tillitz, who juggled the ball before controlling it in the end zone.

Miami-Ohio secured the 30-27 win, which was their fourth consecutive victory and would ultimately be part of seven in a row.

“The play is called Big Ben,” Miami-Ohio coach Terry Hoeppner told reporters after the game. “It is a play you can't (control). We work on it every Thursday in practice. Usually it is tipped incomplete. You just hope it works in a game.”

Akron players laid on the field while Tillitz was carried off on his teammates shoulders.

We think no one tried to carry Roethlisberger off the field because he’s a gigantic human and no one could lift him.

While the tip in this game is beautiful – it did, after all, lead to a game-winning score – the pass is what really caught our eye. It was declared a 70-yard pass in the boxscore and it was just about that. Roethlisberger threw the pass from his 27-yard line to the Akron 5-yard line

Roethlisberger finished that season completing 63.3 percent of his passes for 3,105 yards, 21 touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for 189 yards and three scores.

Roethlisberger told media after the game that he had worked on that same tip play several times at practice and that it had always worked. However, he noted, he’d never actually run it with defenders in his way.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter

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