In football, a defense can usually get a good sense of what the offense is doing based on where the offensive linemen go. If the line starts pulling to the right, the play is probably going to the right. If the line heads left, the play is probably going to the left. Offenses can run counters and misdirections to deceive the defense, but if they do, they risk leaving unblocked defenders.
But what happens if the offensive line just falls down?
That’s what Tommy Tuberville’s Cincinnati team sought to find out Friday against Tulsa, when the Bearcats ran a wild trick play in which the linemen collapse at the line of scrimmage, sending the defense into confusion and chaos. Take a look:
This is pretty brilliant. On a normal double-pass play, the offensive line has to either follow the first pass, which leaves the guy who ends up with the ball largely without blockers, or follow the second pass, which tips off the defense that the trickery is coming. But in this case the line played dead at the decisive moment, prompting the defense to swarm receiver Tyler Cogswell and abandon quarterback Hayden Moore, who ended up catching the second pass and running untouched to the end zone behind a swarm of blockers.
Of course, if the play had fallen apart with the linemen on the turf, Tuberville and the Bearcats would’ve looked like idiots. But it worked, so everyone’s a genius.
Alas, Cincinnati lost 40-37 to end the season with a 4-8 record.