It’s been one of the most insane years in recent memory—and potentially ever—when it comes to special teams making huge plays to win games, and Saturday night’s game between the Miami Hurricanes and Duke Blue Devils certainly lived up to what’s all of a sudden becoming an expectation.
Up 27 to 24 with six seconds left in the fourth quarter—thanks to a Thomas Sirk one-yard touchdown run and subsequent 2-point conversion run to put the Blue Devils up three—Duke did the only thing it could do and squib kicked it off to Miami.
This was the smart strategy by Duke, because the squib would basically guarantee that the clock would run out and all the return team would have to do is tackle the ball-carrier and look out for the desperation laterals and backwards tosses.
That’s easier said than done, apparently…
Two weeks after Michigan State beat rival Michigan on a punt block returned for a touchdown and a week after Georgia Tech defeated highly-ranked Florida State on a last-second field goal block returned for a touchdown; the Hurricanes gave us this:
Still in shock. This 8-lateral Miami walk-off kickoff return to win is one of the most amazing endings you’ll see. https://t.co/QWx8lm0CgD
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 1, 2015
Somehow, someway…this was even more incredible than the game-winning special teams play the week before.
I asked this last week, but it’s certainly worth repeating now (and perhaps it will help keep this streak going). What in the world can we expect to happen next week?
This is a play that will go down in history as one of the most improbable endings to a game ever. We’ve now seen that happen three weeks in a row.
College football is great.