Normally, when a team pulls off a trick play, coaches scramble to find something to write with so they can jot it down on the nearest piece of paper, or pulling out their phones to video it, and share it on social media, or save it for the perfect time during their season.
However, Purdue ran a play in the waning moments of the first half against Arizona last night that had coaches and fans buzzing, with many clamoring that the play should be illegal.
Here’s the situation – Purdue has a 14-point lead with less than a minute left in the half, and they line up the victory formation…but what unfolds isn’t exactly what you’d expect.
Here’s a look at the controversial play from two angles:
What a call. I’ve never seen this before and it baffles me that it’s taken this long. pic.twitter.com/QYtTRFp1vH
— Chris Hassel (@Hassel_Chris) December 28, 2017
More trickery from Brohm. Seems like we see this every bowl season now. pic.twitter.com/uiKenIl4sz
— CoachesCollaborate (@coachescollab) December 28, 2017
The biggest issue here is that typically, the referees tell the defensive line to let up a little bit and just let the quarterback kneel without incident, which according to Rich Rod and Arizona players, is exactly what happened.
Remember that Purdue fake kneel down play? Both Rich Rod & Arizona's players say the refs told them beforehand it was a kneel & not to rush the passer.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) December 28, 2017
Many will remember the outrage when Greg Schiano was the head coach of the Bucs and his players refused to let up during a kneeling situation with 5 seconds left in the game against the Giants, down 41-34. A lot of people called it dirty, but Schiano insisted that he believed in having his team “fight until the game is over.”
The situation at the end of a half compared to the end of the game may be very different, but the point being is when officials step in and say the team is going to kneel it, they normally do so with input from the kneeling team so that they can keep players safe so to go out and pull off a trick play after that is a real gray area that has a lot of folks unhappy – right, wrong, or indifferent.
I’m interested in hearing where coaches stand on this issue. Was the call by Purdue out of line or fair game? Or are you in the camp that believes in having your players “fight until the game is over,” like Schiano. Or maybe there’s some middle ground here.
Rich Rod’s thoughts added here:
Rich Rodriguez's thoughts on the Purdue fake kneel down. pic.twitter.com/ucS5EcaGP4
— Ben White (@Ben1White) December 28, 2017